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It’s So Lonely On A Limb: Seattle Reign 2, Red Stars 1, NWSL game recap

The Red Stars suffer their first defeat in over two months after conceding two 2nd half penalties

Photo via Chicago Red Stars

Seattle Reign 2 Rapinoe 58’ (PK) 84’ (PK)

Chicago Red Stars 1 Mautz 41’

I’m going to level with you here. I was sorely tempted to just write “this is a stupid game and I hate it,” and have that be the entirety of my Red Stars game recap.

I’m not going to, obviously. But it’s how I feel.

My editorial duties at Hot Time are such that I work on both Fire and Red Stars coverage and I end up doing a little bit of everything. And so because the Fire game went into extra time and penalties, and I had to help get our postgame content out the door, I was late checking into the Red Stars game.

I didn’t miss a whole lot, and I think that’s what frustrates me about this team sometimes.

Because I love this team. I love the players. I love how the players are able to pull off these incredible moments, like DiBern’s golazo on Sunday. And I love how they’re able to get results in tough games.

But damn, their style of football is ugly sometimes.

And you know, that’s fine for the most part. I like strong defenses. I can get onboard with Route 1 football if A. it’s my team and B. it works. But it’s like eating my vegetables— I don’t always have to like it.

But I put on a brave face and eat my cauliflower because the Red Stars have been on a strong unbeaten streak and are in the drivers’ seat as far as playoff qualification is concerned. They do this mostly by grinding out one 1-0 or 2-1 win after another. String enough of them together and you’re almost untouchable.

Unless you manage to score more than one goal against them. Because if you do that against Rory Dames’ squad, apparently, there’s nothing they can do to fight back.

The first half— which, again, I missed the first 15 minutes but I had other WoSo peeps get me caught up— looked a bit like a UFC fight. Or a demolition derby, as Stephanie Yang told me. Seattle came out and played the same kind of direct, physical play that the Red Stars are best known far. Lots of shin-kicking, lots of attacks, not much in the way of shots on goal. Julie Ertz provided a notable exception.

As the opening act came to a close, the Red Stars started to get the game under control with this tidy goal from Alyssa Mautz.

So Chicago went into halftime with a one goal lead. This was starting to follow the Red stars script. Get a goal, lock it down, get the result. Typical Chicago.

And then this happened.

And then this happened.

Megan Rapinoe, man.

I don’t want to get too deep in the reeds here on this. It’s 12:30am and I’m having a bad night.

In the post-game press conference Rory Dames attributed the loss to fatigue. “We looked a little bit more tired than they did.” I guess that works for me.

I don’t know. I’m want to call tonight a wash. I bet the players do too. I bet most of Chicago Soccer wants to too.

The Chicago Red Stars (6W 2D 3L, 20pts, 2nd place) continue their road trip on Saturday when they travel to Orlando.