KCC: Kansas City fell to OL Reign 2-1
CHI: The Red Stars fell to the North Carolina Courage 0-5 in regular season play
Central Division Rivals
While this is the first time Chicago faces Kansas City in UKG Challenge Cup play, this will be the second time the Red Stars faceoff against the Current, with the first matchup coming in week three of the regular season and ending in a 4-2 win for the Red Stars. Wednesday’s matchup will look noticeably different from their first meeting in the regular season starting with the personnel on the field. The Red Stars have been without rookie Penelope Hocking for the past few matches due to injury, and their status for Wednesday’s match remains uncertain. The Kansas City side have also dealt with injuries, but had the help of former Chicago Red Star, Morgan Gautrat, in their last match. Both teams face a three-game week, so how will they rotate their rosters and who will step up to help secure three points for their side? Tune in Wednesday night to find out.
How They Stats Up
The Red Stars have walked away with points in three out of the last five matchups against the Current, going back to March of 2022. Unfortunately for Chicago, the points from those three matches came during regular-season play. The club lost 2-1 in both Challenge Cup meetings against Kansas City last year. Fans of goals will want to tune in to this matchup, as the last five meetings between Chicago and Kansas City have featured at least three goals in each meeting. Through two Challenge Cup matches so far, the Red Stars have yet to score a goal, while Kansas City have notched four goals, tied with Washington for third most in the tournament. The two sides are only separated by one shot attempt, however, with Chicago (11) ahead of Kansas City (10). Both are tied for shots on goal with three a piece, so Wednesday could see either side walking away with three points.
The Case for Casey
Since returning to the Red Stars after giving birth to her son, Casey Krueger has been on a mission to remind the league why she is one of the preeminent defenders in the National Women’s Soccer League. Krueger has played in every regular-season match for the Red Stars this season and notched one assist so far this season. Among Red Stars defenders, the Naperville native has created more chances (9) and won more duels (50) than any of her teammates on the backline. Krueger is the second highest Red Stars defender in passing accuracy (80 percent), tackles (14) and tackles won (10), all while still contributing on the offensive side of the ball with her runs into the opponent’s half and her creativity on the ball that allows her to find space for herself and her teammates. With these stats and impressive performances week after week, it’s easy to make the case that Casey should be heavily considered for the United States Women’s National Team’s World Cup roster.