CHI: The Chicago Red Stars fell to the Houston Dash 2-1 in their home opener
KCC: Kansas City lost to the Portland Thorns 4-1 in a rematch of the 2022 NWSL Championship
Against The Ropes
The start of the 2023 season has been less than ideal for the Red Stars. The club started off with a strong performance week one against San Diego, but an unfortunate call gave San Diego the opportunity to walk away with three points. During the club’s home opener on April 1, the Red Stars benefited from a Houston own goal, but the team was unable to hold the tie and fell to 0-2-0. Last week, the Red Stars took a break from league play to take on the Mexican Women’s National Team. Without the help of key players who were called up for national team duty, the team was unable to stave off a dangerous Mexico team, resulting in a third loss. On the same day with the U.S. Women’s National Team, Mallory Swanson suffered an injury that will sideline the star forward. This week, the team faces another tough task with the reinforced Kansas City Current coming to town. After three-straight losses and a tough opponent waiting for them this weekend, the Red Stars are against the ropes to start the 2023 season, but they’re not down and certainly not out.
Welcome Back, Vanessa and Morgan
This weekend’s match marks the return of former Red Stars, Vanessa DiBernardo and Morgan Gautrat. DiBernardo, from Naperville, Illinois, was drafted by the club in 2014 and played with the Red Stars for nine years and served as the team’s captain. DiBernardo holds the record for most matches played and most minutes played for the Red Stars (155, 12,465). Gautrat joined the Red Stars in 2017 and was a mainstay in the Red Stars midfield for six years. During Gautrat’s six years with the Red Stars, the midfielder won her second World Cup with the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Team. Both players provided a level of skill and leadership that was appreciated by their teammates and made them fan-favorite players.
Debuts of First Time Red Stars
Last week against Mexico, multiple Red Stars made their debut with the club. Rookies Sophie Jones, Ally Schlegel and Mackenzie Wood not only made their debut in a Red Stars kit, but also made their debuts as professionals. Julia Bianchi, Brenna Lovera and Taylor Malham all made their debuts as Red Stars, with Bianchi accentuating her debut by scoring an olimpico goal for the club. With the injury to Swanson and the national team players returning on tired legs, will Coach Petrucelli rely on one or more of these young Red Stars to provide the spark the team needs?