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New captain. Same skills.

CHICAGO – It’s no secret forward Christen Press can score a lot of goals. The newly named captain has led the Red Stars in scoring for the third consecutive year, with 25 goals in three seasons. More impressive is that Press has managed to do that despite international duties for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016.

Taking her skills beyond her club, Press has notched 36 goals in her 77 caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team. In 2016, Press has posted seven goals in 22 games.

In the 2016 NWSL season, Press took the top spot in the league for most shots on goal (39), becoming the biggest threat to opposing teams. Continuing to excel at the highest level, Press led the NWSL with four Goal of the Week titles, while scoring four equalizers and three game winning goals.

Week 3: CHI 1, ORL 0
Shots: 4
Shots on Goal: 3
Goals: 1
Goal of the Week

In the 64th minute, the Red Stars were awarded a free kick near half field, where Danielle Colaprico would take the set piece. Perfectly placed on top of the 18-yard box, Press snuck behind three defenders to meet the ball, settling before putting it past NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, Ashlyn Harris.

This goal would not only give Chicago the 1-0 victory, but it also awarded Press with the Goal of the Week title for the first time in the 2016 season.

Week 4: CHI 1, BOS 0
Shots: 5
Shots on Goal: 4
Goals: 1
Goal of the Week

The next week, Press would once again score the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Boston.

Press stood near the top of the 18 as Vanessa DiBernardo sent a short corner kick to the near post, but a poor clearance by Boston would leave the ball at the feet of Press. Known for her one touch abilities, Press quickly struck it first time into the upper 90 of the goal.

For the second week in a row Press was awarded NWSL Goal of the Week on her game winner.

Week 8: CHI 1, POR 1
Shots: 3
Shots on Goal: 1
Goals: 1
Goal of the Week

Press sealed her first game-equalizing goal during the 1-1 draw against Portland at home.

Down by one in the 25th minute, Chicago needed to level the match and it would be none other than the captain to do it.

After Julie Johnston took possession in Chicago’s defensive half, she sent it across half field to Casey Short on the outside flank. Short would find Alyssa Mautz sprinting to the top of the box and lofted the ball in her direction. Mautz took a heavy touch to the chest, dropping to Press where she would once again find the back of the net off one touch.

Press’ shot grazed the fingertips of Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, directing it to the bottom of the crossbar with a backspin to send it over the goal line.

Again, Press was awarded the NWSL Goal of the Week.

Week 16: CHI 3, SBFC 1
Shots: 7
Shots on Goal: 4
Goals: 1

Up by one thanks to a goal from Stephanie McCaffrey, Chicago looked to be in a good position after six shots on goal to Sky Blue’s two. But with just one goal separating the two teams, the Red Stars didn’t want to leave any room for error.

Late in the match, DiBernardo split the defense perfectly to find Press, who broke from her defender and easily poked it just out of reach from the goalkeeper.

The win sealed the Red Stars third-place position, clinching the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Week 17: CHI 2, SEA 2

Shots: 5
Shots on Goal: 3
Goals: 1

As it started to look bleak for the Red Stars late in the second half, it was Press who would step up and earn her team one point against Seattle Reign FC.

In the 78th minute, defender Casey Short received the ball and took her touch into the box, but was clipped by Reign defender Merritt Mathias, awarding a penalty kick for Chicago.

Press stepped up to the penalty spot and sent the ball straight to the back of the net opposite the goalkeeper and equalized the game.

Week 18: CHI 2, FCKC 3
Shots: 4
Shots on Goal: 3
Goals: 1
Goal of the Week

For the third week in a row, Press would notch another goal for Chicago, this time being the first equalizing goal in a 3-2 loss to FC Kansas City.

After falling in the seventh minute to Kansas City, the Red Stars bounced back six minutes later when midfielder Taylor Comeau found Press inside the box. Press turned, challenging Kansas City defender Yael Averbuch with pure skill and pushed the ball wide to her right. Getting herself open, she curved an amazing ball to the inside netting, well out of reach of the goalkeeper, Nicole Barnhart.

Her equalizer would earn NWSL Goal of the Week for her fourth and final time of the year, the most from a single player this season.

Semifinal: CHI 1, WAS 2
Shots: 5
Shots on Goal: 2
Goals: 1

In the Red Stars semifinal match against Washington Spirit, Press certainly made her mark by scoring the equalizing goal late in the game to send it to overtime, the first in NWSL history.

In the 81st minute, Short crossed a perfectly weighted ball inside the box to Press, soaring over the head of the final Spirit defender. Press calmly volleyed the ball into the upper 90, denying any movement for goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

After another amazing NWSL season from Press, she would be honored on the NWSL Best XI for the second year in a row. In her first year as a captain, Press showed her ability to step up for her team in a multitude of ways, but excelled in scoring when the team needed her most.

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