Last week the Red Stars managed to steal a point from Boston. A lack luster performance throughout the majority of the game led to a goal from Boston’s Rose Lavelle in the 69th minute. The latter moments of the game saw Chicago scratch their way to a draw with help from an equalizer off the head of Red Stars captain Christen Press.
This week will mark the first quarter of NWSL Season Five, and Chicago will look to close out week six with a visit to North Carolina.
All around me are familiar faces...
After going on a tear to start the season with four wins, NC Courage suffered their first loss of the season last week against Orlando Pride. While NC Courage is the new franchise on the block, the players are all too familiar. The entire roster is composed almost entirely of the former players that were once the Western New York Flash. With the exceptions of a few offseason departures and acquisitions, much of the 2016 championship team is intact.
Chicago had a notoriously bad away record when visiting Rochester. The Red Stars were 4-4-3 against Western New York, and all 4 losses occurred as the visiting team. While that isn’t a record to be proud of, it’s new team, new city, and new state that awaits Chicago.
Where we last saw them
We haven’t. This is the very first match up between NC Courage and the Chicago Red Stars. However, if you wish to see highlights from 2016 against what used to be Western New York, video can be found on YouTube.
Starting line up we’d like to see
We’d like to see Rory Dames bring back this line up against NC Courage. Sofia Huerta has been an asset on assisting goals, and Julie Ertz could prove vital against a Carolina midfield with Sam Mewis and now Debinha.
Keys to the match
A roster full of returning champions isn’t a team you’d think had holes to fill on the pitch, that theory has been proven wrong with the arrival of Débora Cristiane de Oliveira. Commonly known as Debinha, the Brazilian international has brought additional playmaking to an already lethal offensive attack along with Jessica McDonald and Lynn Williams. We could see a potential entertaining individual match up featuring Julie Ertz vs Debinha depending on which formation Coach Rory Dames decides to go with.
No Captain Kiwi or Hinkle?
Last week against Orlando, NC Courage captain and former Red Star, Abby Erceg was ejected after receiving a Red Card. She will be suspended for the match. Chicago will want to try their luck at pressing high and testing the backline since they will be missing their captain, and possibly Jaelene Hinkle. Hinkle, who has always been strong on the left flank, has been dealing with an injury.
Pressed for goals
The one silver lining that came from a week 5 draw against Boston, was that Christen Press has officially scored in 2017. Look for her to be on the hunt for more and to try and collect some more.
How to watch
Kickoff: Sunday May 21, 3pm Central.
TV/Streaming: Go90, NWSL website
The league has been dealing with some streaming issues with new streaming app partner go90. To help counter these issues while technical bugs are being worked out, the league released a statement that all games this weekend can also be views via stream on the NWSL website.
Will this be the game that Chicago collects a road win? Will Christen Press score another header? Will you be watching via go90?