The Red Stars went to Kansas City and did what they needed to do. But they did so at significant cost.
In a tight, tense, and very physical match, Chicago fought their hosts to a scoreless draw, enough to secure their place in the NWSL playoffs for the second year in a row.
But the Red Stars may head into the postseason in a weakened state. Sam Johnson is still on the injured list after a bad tackle on Wednesday against FCKC at Toyota Park. During the first half, both defender Arin Gilliland and newly-arrived forward Steph McCaffrey were forced off the pitch in the first half due to injuries. If those knocks prove to be serious, Chicago could go into the playoffs effectively with a limp.
Those injuries and the occasionally-chippy play notwithstanding, it was a fairly dull game, as these things go. Dull is good. Dull gets us into the playoffs.
Still: questions remain.
The Red Stars wrap up the regular season on September 24th at Toyota Park when they host the Washington Spirit. After that, we’ll have at least one game of postseason soccer to look forward to.