It’s a word that comes to mind this week as the Chicago Red Stars prepare for another appearance in the NWSL playoffs. After the Red Stars 3-2 victory over the Houston Dash on September 23rd, they were assured a spot in the semifinals.
After the regular season finale against Portland, The Red Stars would learn their playoff fate. Chicago would faceoff against the NWSL Shield winning North Carolina Courage in Cary, NC.
The Red Stars are one of the few teams who enjoyed success against the Courage this season and have been one of the more dominant teams on the road in the NWSL.
Midfielder Sofia Huerta and the rest of her Red Star teammates are ready for whatever challenge they may face.
“I think that this league is really based on transition,” said Huerta of the NWSL.
“When you are playing games away it’s all about working hard and running fast and seeing how you can go from defense to offense. I think our team is very good at that. We’ve always been a blue collar team and this is the first year that we have had a lot of national team players and a lot of people who can actually play soccer so we have a combination of both now, a lot of running and a lot on the technical side.
I think that’s why we have such success on the road, I’m excited for next week and I think we will be fine in an away game.”
When the Red Stars take the field on Sunday, they will look to advance to the NWSL final for the first time in franchise history. In Chicago’s previous appearances, the team has failed to make it out of the first round.
The Red Stars are excited and ready for a change in fortune.
“We are excited,” said Huerta. “We’ve been here the last two years and we got knocked out in the semifinal and that is a terrible feeling. It’s such a long season for two important games, well hopefully two. Getting to the end of season and getting to the end of that game and losing is a terrible feeling. Coming back for a third year, we want to prove that we can get knocked down but we will get back up, so we’re excited for this next game.”
Chicago look for a berth in the NWSL Final, when they face the North Carolina Courage in a semifinal match up on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30pm CDT.