NWSL Challenge Cup - MATCH 6

7:00pm CST
SeatGeek Stadium
Chicago Red Stars
Houston Dash

The Chicago Red Stars take on the Houston Dash in their final UKG Challenge Cup match of 2023. Prior to the match Saturday, the National Women’s Soccer League released the July Best XI of the Month presented by Mastercard, which included Red Stars goalkeeper, Emily Boyd. This is Boyd’s first league recognition and is well deserved as the keeper amassed a save percentage of 90.4 percent, three clean sheets and is third among all goalkeepers in saves made in Challenge Cup play after playing in just two matches in the tournament.

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Previous Result
CHI: Chicago drew even with the Kansas City Current, 0-0
HOUHouston Dash edged out Racing Louisville FC for a 1-0 win


Last One for the Road
Saturday’s matchup between the Red Stars and Dash will be the last match up for the season between the two sides. In all competitions, Chicago is 1-2-0 against Houston this season, and 1-3-0 against Houston’s Diana Ordóñez, María Sánchez and Emily Alvarado all who played with the Mexico national team that faced off against the Red Stars at the start of the season. While a win for the Red Stars wouldn’t advance them to the next round of the Challenge Cup, it would even the season record against the Dash and continue the team’s momentum since their two-game win streak before the NWSL break.
Flashes of Brilliance
The last time Chicago and Houston matched up on the pitch, Chicago walked away with the 0-1 win thanks to a second-half goal by Penelope Hocking who scored 23 seconds after subbing in; the second-fastest goal in league history by a substitute. In that match, the Red Stars led the Dash in expected goals (1:37 to .57), the first time the team led in expected goals in the tournament. Chicago also led Houston in possession (50.6 to 49.4), shots from inside the box (8 to 6) and passes (358 to 342). The result against Houston allowed the team to go into the NWSL break on a positive note that included a win against San Diego the week before. After a tie against Kansas City, can Chicago end their 2023 Challenge Cup campaign with a win?
A Look Ahead
This weekend’s match against Houston will be the last Challenge Cup match of the season and after this weekend, the Red Stars have seven regular-season matches left in 2023. The regular season continues August 20 for the Chicago Red Stars as the team travels to Orlando to take on the Pride. Team’s left on Chicago’s schedule include North Carolina Courage, Angel City FC, Racing Louisville FC, Kansas City Current and OL Reign. In the regular season, and against those seven teams, the Red Stars are 3-3-1 this season with wins coming against Kansas City, Orlando and Angel City FC, and losses against North Carolina, Racing Louisville FC and OL Reign. The first matchup against Washington is the only draw the Red Stars earned against any of the remaining seven teams. The team is not yet mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but if the team wants to advance to the postseason, they’ll need to capitalize in each of the remaining games.
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