CHICAGO – As the Red Stars look for their first three points in over a month, winning their last match on April 18, Chicago will take on the Washington Spirit, who have found just their second win last week.
Here are a couple things to look out for against Washington:
Lack in the Backline:
With one of the most veteran backlines in the league, Washington has struggled to find any strength on defense, allowing the second-most goals this season (15). The defense has fallen lately, allowing the most shots on target (66), as goalkeeper Audrey Bledsoe had to come up with 50 saves so far this season, the most of any team. The Spirit is the only team that is unable to come back from defeat, losing all five matches that they have conceded in first. Offenses have been able to pick apart the defense, as most conceded shots were taken from inside the box (8), while Washington has given up the most goals from a set piece (2).
Struggling Young Offense:
Coming into the season, Washington had an offense to look out for after Mallory Pugh returned for her second season, while the club added Andi Sullivan (Stanford), Rose Lavelle (Boston) and 2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year Ashley Hatch (North Carolina). But after their unfortunate beginning of the season, the threat has been one least to desire. Hatch and Francisca Ordega lead the team with three goals apiece, while Pugh only adds two goals to the Spirit’s 10 total goals. Like much of last season, U.S. WNT midfielder Lavelle has been on the bench due to a left hamstring injury. With Lavelle just getting back into games and Sullivan being the only player managing the midfield, forwards Hatch, Ordega and Pugh have not had the ability to create many on-goal chances.