CHI: Chicago drew even 1-1 with the Washington Spirit
NJY: New Jersey/New York fell 2-0 to the Kansas City Current
Both Chicago and NJ/NY are bound to be a bit worn down by the final whistle on Sunday, with each team having played a regular season match last weekend followed a group stage 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup match on Wednesday, May 3. Adding to the strain, both sides played their respective midweek matches on the road. Exhaustion and recovery will surely be a performance consideration, but the gritty Red Stars are no stranger to busy schedules. During the previous 2022 regular season, Chicago played five matches over a two-week period. Not recording a single loss in any of those five matches, the Red Stars powered through to tally four draws and a victory.
The NWSL is known for chaos, and NJ/NY are looking to take advantage of that. A victory this weekend for Gotham would be their first regular season win against the Red Stars since July 25, 2021. New Jersey/New York come to the Windy City with a chip on their shoulder, losing and drawing no goals in both match ups against the Red Stars in 2022. While both teams gained and lost formidable talent in the offseason, Chicago retained both Tatumn Milazzo and Ava Cook, who were responsible for Chicago’s goals in the most recent 2-0 defeat of Gotham on August 7, 2022.
A Red Stars win over Gotham would keep Chicago from seeing the bottom of the NWSL standings table, but the team knows scorelines aren’t everything. While the Red Stars haven’t been leading the league in victories, they still hold high spots in other stats categories. Chicago currently has the most individual goal scorers in the league, with seven different Red Stars scoring goals so far this season. The 10 goals Chicago has claimed are also currently the second-most in the league, only after Portland’s 14. Additionally, the Red Stars are tied with the Houston Dash for fourth-highest number of shots on goal with 23 apiece.
Bianca Shines Bright
Bianca St-Georges logged the lone Red Stars goal last weekend at home in the draw with the Washington Spirit. The perfect cross she received from Ally Schlegel beautifully found the back of the net to mark St-Georges first goal of the 2023 regular season and make her the seventh different Red Star to start their goal column this season. Drafted by the Red Stars in 2019, the midfielder has established herself as a threat in every part of the field, shutting down opponent offenses and attacking their defensive lines moments later. St-Georges tallied three of her five career goals and three of her four career assists during her breakout 2022 season while also being instrumental to the Red Stars defensive success at the same time. So far in 2023, the Canadian national has been just as influential, logging a 67% pass success rate and winning 75% of her tackles in addition to her goal.