Red Stars vs Bay FC  |  June 8  |  Wrigley Field
BUY TICKETS
0
vs
2
SaturdayMar. 16
6:30pm CT
America First Field
Broadcast: Marquee Sports
Match 1
NWSL Regular Season
Preview
Recap
Utah Royals logo
Utah Royals
0-0-0
Previous Result
Chicago Red Stars logo
Chicago Red Stars
0-0-0
Previous Result
The Red Stars fell to Seattle Reign 0-3 to close out the 2023 season
Match Preview

The 2024 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season kicks off Saturday, March 16, and the Chicago Red Stars travel to Sandy, Utah, to face off against Utah Royals FC in the Royals’ inaugural match. Both teams have something to prove as the Red Stars look to start the 2024 season on the right foot after finishing at the bottom of the NWSL standings in 2023. 

Red Stars Remastered
The Royals aren’t the only team in Saturday’s matchup getting a fresh start. Chicago enters the 2024 season with new ownership; a new head coach, general manager and president; 13 new players on the final roster; and a new mindset. New faces like Camryn Biegalski, Maximiliane Rall and Sam Staab have already expressed their mission to transform the club on the field, and rookies Jameese Joseph and Leilanni Nesbeth feel ready to take on the challenge.
Even Playing Field
New players aren’t the only ones looking forward to this season; seasoned veterans like Tatumn Milazzo, Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Swanson have been vocal about Chicago beginning the season with chips on their shoulders after the team’s last place finish in 2023. The Red Stars have much to prove after missing the playoffs since 2014, and nothing is off the table with a little Chicago grit and NWSL magic in the mix. Having the 2023 USWNT leading goal scorer, Mallory Swanson, back on the pitch also doesn’t hurt. Maybe starting at the bottom of the table has a silver lining: New Jersey/New York Gotham FC’s 2023 season was a worst-to-first Cinderella story. Who says it can’t happen again?
Around the World with the Stars
The offseason brought even more international talent to the Windy City, with Chicago now having eight players with experience representing seven countries on the world stage; Julia Bianchi (Brazil), Nádia Gomes (Portugal), Natalia Kuikka (Finland), Alyssa Naeher (United States), rookie Leilanni Nesbeth (Bermuda), Maximiliane Rall (Germany), Syndey Schnieder (Jamaica) and Mallory Swanson (United States) have all earned caps on their respective senior national teams. Naeher, Schneider and Swanson have all made FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances, while Bianchi, Naeher and Swanson have all been named to previous Olympic teams for their countries. The eight players together boast 20 tournament champion titles, hold three second-place finishes, one third-place finish, and an Olympic bronze medal in international competitions. Their expertise is sure to be an asset for the Red Stars this season.
Pre-Match Media | Coach Donaldson and Alyssa Naeher
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Utah Royals logo
Utah Royals
0
Scoring Summary:
Disciplinary Report:
44’ Sentnor (Yellow Card), 62’ Agnes Nyberg (Yellow Card)  
Lineup:
Carly Nelsonk, Imani Dorsey, Kaleigh Riehl, Kate Del Fava, Madison Pogarch, Agnes Nyberg (Tucker), Dana Foederer, Paige Monaghan (Onumonu), Frankie Tagliaferri (Mozingo), Ally Sentnor, Hannah Betfort
Chicago Red Stars logo
Chicago Red Stars
2
Scoring Summary:
50’ Ally Schlegel (Sam Staab), 77’ Ava Cook (Ally Cook)
Disciplinary Report:
60’ Penelope Hocking (Yellow Card), 90+6’ Ava Cook (Yellow Card)
Lineup:
Alyssa Naeher, Maxi Rall, Natalia Kuikka, Sam Staab, Taylor Malham, Julia Bianchi, Cari Roccaro, Nádia Gomes (Ally Cook), Penelope Hocking (Sarah Griffith), Mallory Swanson (Jenna Bike), Ally Schlegel (Ava Cook)  
Red Stars Spoil Utah’s Inaugural Match, Win 0-2

The Chicago Red Stars kicked off their 2024 campaign with a 0-2 win over Utah Royals FC in the Royals’ inaugural match back in the National Women’s Soccer League. Ally Schlegel and Ava Cook provided the two goals for the Red Stars, and were backed by an outstanding performance by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.  

 

KEY MOMENTS:  

4’ Sam Staab misjudges a ball in Utah’s defensive third that leads to a break away, but the center back hustles back to make a key slide and clear any danger. 

 

32’ Chicago’s Julia Bianchi clears a ball in Chicago’s defensive third that goes up the line to find Mallory Swanson in stride. Swanson carries the ball into Utah territory makes a cross that deflects to Red Stars forward, Ally Schlegel, who takes a shot that goes wide of the net. 

 

48’ Mallory Swanson receives a ball and dribbles into Utah’s 18-yard box, passes the ball to a trailing Nádia Gomes, but the forward’s shot goes over the crossbar 

 

50’ Chicago’s Sam Staab lobs a ball into Utah’s 18-yard box that finds the head of Ally Schlegel who gets it into the net to open the scoring, 0-1 Chicago 

 

54’ Utah goes on a breakaway straight toward Chicago’s goal, but the attacker’s shot is saved by the outstretched right hand of Alyssa Naeher, 0-1 Chicago 

 

76’ Chicago’s Maxi Rall carries the ball across the field into Utah’s 18-yard box, takes a shot that goes off Ally Cook, bounces to Ava Cook who scores to extend Chicago’s lead, 0-2 Chicago 

 

GAME NOTES: 

  • Tonight marked Mallory Swanson’s first match back since injury last season. She played 80 minutes before subbing out 
  • Tonight also marked the first match back for Nádia Gomes after briefly retiring from the sport, as well as the first NWSL match for Maximiliane Rall, who spent her career playing in Europe before joining the Red Stars this offseason15th coach to win in  
  • The win tonight for Coach Donaldson makes him the 15th coach in league history to win his very first match as a head coach, of 57 total debuts  
  • Alyssa Naeher made five saves tonight, making this her first five save match since Chicago faced Louisville October 1, 2023 
  • Chicago walked away with three points despite having less possession (32.5% to 67.5), lower expected goals (.98 to 2.10), less shots inside the box (6 to 12) and less passes in the final third (74 to 129) 
  • Sam Staab’s assist marks her first with the club since joining via trade in January 

 

Next Game 

Chicago Red Stars vs. Seattle Reign FC March 23, 2024, 3:00 p.m. CT at SeatGeek Stadium 

Highlights | Utah Royals FC vs Chicago Red Stars
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Post-Match Media | Coach Donaldson, Aly Schlegel and Ava Cook
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Photos | March 16 vs Utah Royals
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