Last Saturday the Utah Royals played their first-ever home game at Rio Tinto Stadium. Over 19,000 supporters packed the stands to witness this historic event. And the Chicago Red Stars completely ruined the party.
Yuki Nagasato made her 2018 debut after being on the injury report the first two matches. Danielle Colaprico scored the gamewinner on a beauty of a volley from outside the box. The defense also recorded their first shutout on the season.
Where We Last Saw Them
This will be the second of of three matches against the Dash this year. The Red Stars kicked off their season in Houston for the third consecutive year, where they have dropped the season opener in prior years.
Entering the season with several injuries and star striker Sam Kerr out on National Team duty, Chicago had difficulties in executing their new style of play this year as a very organized Houston team and a strong performance in net from Jane Campbell kept the Red Stars off the scoreboard for nearly 90 minutes.
It wasn’t until the final minutes when the equalizer arrived from Taylor Comeau, who scored on a set piece header.
Starting Lineup We’d Like To See
No Julie Ertz, who is still out with a right knee sprain. Vanessa DiBernardo, Casey Short, and Rosie White are all listed on the DL.
The good news is Stephanie McCaffrey is back! She was listed as questionable last week with illness. And Sam Kerr is still running things in the Asian Cup with Australia. Two games in one week? Players still injured? Let’s keep that player rotation going.
Keys To The Match
2nd verse better than the 1st: The Red Stars have shown a growth in their style of play over their last two games since their week one match against Houston. A commitment to building up play out of the back - and now with 3 different goal scorers to date - the Red Stars will want to redeem their 1st game performance with their newly improved tactics.
Freeze them Out: Just kidding. Is it a scam? Maybe. Kinda. The weather forecast does not look kind in the lead up to this match, and while we saw a preview of gross conditions in New Jersey vs Seattle, there is potential for more of that Wednesday evening in Chicago. A first goal in a ‘weather game’ could prove vital for either team.
Players To Watch
Houston Dash - Rachel Daly. The English outside back has had some of her better games against Chicago. Whether it’s been scoring goals, or creating chances for the Dash, look for her to get involved in the attack on the flanks.
Chicago Red Stars - Katie Naughton. Over time, the center back has exhibited what it means to be the anchor of a backline that has gone through various player rotations. We’ve been here for the rise of Naughton (Our 2017 Chicago AF award winner). You should too. Pay attention.
How to Watch
Kick off: April 18, Wednesday at 6:30 pm CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL
Stream: go90 app
Better to play a team midweek that you’ve played already? Like or Dislike midweek soccer? Did we mention this game is on Wednesday? Because it is. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!