WAS: The Washington Spirit split points with the Portland Thorns, 1-1
CHI: The Chicago Red Stars drew 1-1 with the North Carolina Courage
Looking to Capitalize in the Capital
The Red Stars arrive in D.C. itching to add another tally to their win column before returning home. Taking on any team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a challenge, but Chicago have some momentum after splitting points with the North Carolina Courage, who currently sit second in league standings. The Red Stars already tied the Spirit once this season at SeatGeek stadium April 29, so walking away with a point (or three) is not out of reach. A win against Washington would certainly be a boon for Chicago, as the team hasn’t won a regular season match since July 7. The team, however, is unbeaten in the last six road games against the Spirit (4W 2D). Here’s to hoping the team can keep the streak alive and walk away with points this weekend.
Stars vs. Stripes... Wait, Spirit
Chicago and Washington have an extensive history, dating back to the NWSL inaugural season. The fixture has been a constant back-and-forth for a decade now, with Washington currently leading in the all-time record (10 wins, 11 losses, and eight draws for Chicago). Most notably, the most recent Spirit win saw Washington triumph over Chicago to win the 2021 NWSL Championship November 20, 2021. The Red Stars and the Spirit have shared points in all four matchups since 2021, making a Chicago victory that much more desirable. But capping Sunday off with a win won’t be easy, as the Spirit, currently sitting fifth in league standings, want to keep their playoff spot and avoid snapping their four-match no loss streak (DDWW). World-class Spirit players, like goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury, midfielders Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan, and forwards Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman will absolutely present challenges for the Red Stars, but nothing the team hasn’t overcome before.
Casey “Can’t Stop” Krueger
It’s hard to describe the season Red Star Casey Krueger is having right now, but we’ll try: fire? Award-winning? Unstoppable? Unmatched? The outstanding defender has put on an incredible performance, match after match. Krueger just wrapped up a particularly extraordinary August and has the recognitions to show for it, winning NWSL Player of the Week August 9 and named to the NWSL August Best XI. Playing every minute of Chicago’s August matches, Krueger had more assists (3) and recoveries (29) and won more aerial duels (5) than any other Red Star in August. Krueger’s three August assists were all recorded in Chicago’s 3-0 shutout of the Houston Dash August 5, the first time any Red Star has assisted three goals in one match. Additionally, Krueger is in the top five Red Stars for virtually every statistic in the month of August, consistently creating chances for Chicago’s offense while relentlessly shutting down opponents at the opposite end of the field seconds later. Will the Spirit be able to keep up with unreal efforts by Casey Krueger?