CHI: The Chicago Red Stars fell to San Diego Wave FC 3-2 in the 2023 NWSL season opener
HOU: Houston played Racing Louisville FC to a 0-0 draw on opening weekend
New Year, Clean Slate
As the 2023 season gets underway, the Red Stars will take on a Houston Dash side that gave the team some trouble last season. In two matches the Dash outscored the Red Stars 5-1, winning both matches. However, the offseason brought about a number of changes for both teams including a coaching change for the Dash and roster changes to both teams. As players and coaches work through the initial jitters and hiccups of the start of the season, a matchup between these two sides can only promise one thing: unpredictability.
The Chicago Red Stats
Despite last game being the first for Cari Roccaro in a Red Stars kit, the veteran midfielder showed her quality as she completed 13 passes in the final third for Chicago, which was the most among the two teams. On defense, Roccaro also led the Red Stars in recoveries with 12. In Tierna Davidson’s first NWSL game back from injury, the defender led the team in passes (53), touches (87)a nd ranked second in passing accuracy (85.5 percent), behind Roccaro (86.5 percent). Sarah Griffith, who spent part of the offseason playing in Australia, returned to the Red Stars’ starting lineup and used the craftiness she displayed last year to create three scoring chances for the club, the most of any player on either team.
Both teams will enter the match with their full rosters, but as the April international window approaches, both teams will see big name players depart to report to their national teams. For the Red Stars, this includes United States Women’s National Team members Tierna Davidson, Casey Krueger, Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Swanson, and Canada Women’s National Team member, Bianca St-Georges. For Houston, María Sánchez and Diana Ordóñez will join the Mexican Women’s National Team, while Sophie Schmidt and Allysha Chapman join team Canada following the match against Chicago.