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SaturdayApr. 27
6:30pm CT
SeatGeek Stadium
Match 6
Regular Season
Preview
Recap
Chicago Red Stars logo
Chicago Red Stars
3-1-1
Previous Result
Chicago earned a 1-2 road win against Seattle to sweep the season series
Portland Thorns logo
Portland Thorns
1-3-1
Previous Result
Portland earned their first win of the season against Houston, 4-1
Match Preview

The Chicago Red Stars (3-1-1, 10 pts) return to the Windy City to face the Portland Thorns FC (1-3-1, 4 pts), their second Pacific Northwest opponent in a row. Both teams look to capitalize off momentum from winning their last matches, but home field advantage falls squarely in Chicago’s corner. This weekend, the first 1,000 fans to enter SeatGeek Stadium will receive a Red Stars Bucket Hat. Tickets are available now at chicagoredstars.com/tickets.

Masters of Momentum
Both the Red Stars and the Thorns will step onto the pitch at SeatGeek Stadium with some confidence after winning their National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Week 5 matches. While the Thorns enjoyed their first win of the season last week, the Red Stars are coming off another win against Seattle. A win that means Chicago has now swept the season series against the Reign. Additionally, Chicago sits third on the NWSL table, far above the Thorns in ninth place, with six points separating the two teams. Red Star Tatumn Milazzo boosts Chicago’s drive further following her back-to-back NWSL Impact Save of the Week honors as does Chicago’s 10 points thus far in 2024 marking the club’s best start since 2016. Meanwhile, Portland is grappling with their worst start to a season in club history with just one win under their belt through five weeks, which came against a struggling Houston Dash.
Thorn(s) in the Side
While the Red Stars have more momentum in their favor, the Thorns have history on their side. Portland have only lost to Chicago twice throughout 26 fixtures between the clubs, winning 14 times, drawing in 10 matches and making a tall order for the Red Stars to overcome if the team wants a win and three points. The Thorns also have an edge over Chicago in goals scored this season, with 10 compared to the Red Stars’ seven, and shooting accuracy, with 52.2 percent accuracy from a league-high 67 shots compared to Chicago’s 50 percent shooting accuracy from 40 shots. However, the Red Stars have only allowed four goals from 17 shots faced, which wilts in comparison with Portland’s 11 goals allowed from 24 shots faced. Chicago’s four goals against also ties the club for second-least goals allowed in the NWSL, behind San Diego’s three, whereas the Thorns’ 11 goals against ties them for third-most goals allowed, above Bay FC’s 12 and the Houston Dash’s 14.
Four to Fear
Four Red Stars have started 2024 with sparks flying behind them: Julia Bianchi, Natalia Kuikka, Cari Roccaro and Sam Staab. Along with the latter three still in Iron Woman contention, the four lead the team in 11 statistical categories. Besides her goal, midfielder Bianchi ranks second in the NWSL in tackles won (14), fifth in the league with 18 tackles attempted and has accumulated a team-high 7 interceptions. Defender Kuikka is ranked third in the league for blocks (9) and has more passes than any other Red Star (250), while midfielder Roccaro leads the team in recoveries, with 37. Defender Sam Staab, who earned starts in all 95 career appearances, holds team highs in touches (326), chances created (7), passes in the final third (49) and clearances (28).
Pre-Match Media | Coach Donaldson and Natalia Kuikka
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Chicago Red Stars logo
Chicago Red Stars
0
Scoring Summary:
Disciplinary Report:
62’ Sam Staab (Yellow Card)
Lineup:
Alyssa Naeher, Tatumn Milazzo (Chardonnay Curran), Natalia Kuikka, Sam Staab, Taylor Malham, Julia Bianchi (Leilanni Nesbeth), Cari Roccaro, Jenna Bike (Camryn Biegalski), Mallory Swanson, Penelope Hocking (Nádia Gomes), Ally Schlegel (Shea Groom)
Portland Thorns logo
Portland Thorns
2
Scoring Summary:
10’ Sophia Smith (Sugita), 26’ Smith (Sinclair)
Disciplinary Report:
71’ Sophia Smith (Yellow Card), 83’ Reyna Reyes (Yellow Card), 90+8’ Isabella Obaze (Yellow Card)
Lineup:
Shelby Hogan, Reyna Reyes, Becky Sauerbrunn, Isabella Obaze, Marie Müller (Klingenberg), Hina Sugita, Sam Coffey, Jessie Fleming (Olivia Moultrie), Morgan Weaver (Linnehan), Christine Sinclair (Janine Beckie), Sophia Smith (Ana Dias)
Chicago Red Stars Fall to Portland Thorns, 0-2

The Chicago Red Stars fell to Portland Thorns FC 0-2 in the clubs’ first meeting of the season. Tonight’s match marked the first of three matches in nine days for the Red Stars with Washington Spirit coming to visit Wednesday, May 1, and then heading to California to take on expansion side, Bay FC Sunday, May 5.  

 

KEY MOMENTS: 

4’ Chicago’s Ally Schlegel sends a cross into Portland’s 18-yard box that finds Mallory Swanson unmarked. Swanson takes a strike that hits the crossbar, deflects straight down, but is ruled to not have crossed the line and doesn’t count as a goal 

6’ Portland tries to answer back quickly with a cross from Christine Sinclair into Chicago’s box that finds the head of Reyna Reyes, but good positioning and quick reflexes by Chicago’s Natalia Kuikka save a goal and keep the score 0-0 

10’ Portland’s Sophia Smith receives a ball on the right of Chicago’s box, takes a dribble to free up space, takes a shot and puts Portland ahead, 0-1 

21’ Chicago’s Penelope Hocking takes the ball off the foot of a Portland defender in their defensive third, dribbles deep into their 18-yard box and sends in a low cross, but Portland’s keeper corrals the ball  

26’ Portland’s Sinclair finds Sophia Smith, this time on the left side of Chicago’s box and gets a shot into the net to extend the lead, 0-2 Portland  

45+1’ On a Red Stars corner kick, Sam Staab delivers a ball to the head of Julia Bianchi who directs it toward goal, but the ball hits the far post and is cleared, 0-2 Portland Thorns 

83’ A free kick by Chicago forces Portland’s keeper to come out, but they are unable to secure the ball that goes toward the back post to the feet of Chardonnay Curran who tries to poke the ball into the goal, but is unsuccessful 

89’ Another freekick by Chicago finds the head of Sam Staab, but the defender is unable to get enough power behind her header to trouble the keeper 

 

GAME NOTES: 

  • Tonight, marked Cari Roccaro’s 100th regular-season start 
  • Both Camryn Biegalski and Chardonnay Curran made their season debuts for the Red Stars tonight. Biegalski was previously a member of the club in 2020 and made her professional debut in the Fall Series that year 
  • Despite the scoreline, Chicago had a higher expected goals than Portland (1.45 to 1.4), more shots (16 to 13) and shots inside the box (12 to 8)  

 

Next Game 

Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit May 1, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. CT at SeatGeek Stadium. 

 

Goals by Half  

            1 2 F 

CHI   0 0 0 

POR  2 0 2 

 

Scoring Summary: 

CHI:
POR: 10’ Sophia Smith (Sugita), 26’ Smith (Sinclair) 

 

 

Disciplinary Report 

CHI: 62’ Sam Staab (Yellow Card)  

POR: 71’ Sophia Smith (Yellow Card), 83’ Reyna Reyes (Yellow Card), 90+8’ Isabella Obaze (Yellow Card) 

Lineups 

CHI: Alyssa Naeher, Tatumn Milazzo (Chardonnay Curran), Natalia Kuikka, Sam Staab, Taylor Malham, Julia Bianchi (Leilanni Nesbeth), Cari Roccaro, Jenna Bike (Camryn Biegalski), Mallory Swanson, Penelope Hocking (Nádia Gomes), Ally Schlegel (Shea Groom) 

POR: Shelby Hogan, Reyna Reyes, Becky Sauerbrunn, Isabella Obaze, Marie Müller (Klingenberg), Hina Sugita, Sam Coffey, Jessie Fleming (Olivia Moultrie), Morgan Weaver (Linnehan), Christine Sinclair (Janine Beckie), Sophia Smith (Ana Dias) 

Highlights | April 27 vs Portland Thorns
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Post-Match Media | Coach Donaldson, Leilanni Nesbeth and Sam Staab
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