Sam Kerr is good at soccer. Because she’s good at soccer, and because the calendar for the women’s game at the international level is a little weird, Sam Kerr has been pulled in multiple directions. The Chicago Red Stars are now five games into the 2018 NWSL season and have had to navigate what turned out to be a difficult stretch of games without their new rock star striker, who was off playing for Australia in some crucial fixtures.
Most recently, Kerr scored three goals and was an indispensable asset in Australia’s barnstorming run through the 2018 AFC Asian Women’s Cup. The Matilda’s won their group handily and fought tooth and nail all the way to the Final, where they ultimately lost to Japan. But Australia did manage to secure qualification to the 2019 Women’s World Cup next summer, making their runners-up campaign a success.
But that’s all finished now. With her international obligations fulfilled for the time being, Sam Kerr has finally landed in Chicago and is ready to get to work with her new club team.
Was told she came straight from the airport to be here. pic.twitter.com/XzlU4PRDm4— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) April 21, 2018
And despite a surprisingly strong performance to start the season while missing some of their biggest stars to injury or international duty— two wins and a draw from their first five games, which, again, not a bad return under the circumstances— the
#ScamGang Red Stars are happy to have her back. You could even sense that excitement pulsing underneath the dry press release language of their announcement that Kerr has officially been added to the roster. It’s unclear whether she’ll be available for this Saturday’s clash against the Washington Spirit, but her debut for the Red Stars is coming sooner rather than later.
To make way for the 2017 NWSL MVP, Erin Yenney has been released from the team in accordance with league regulations. Her time in Chicago was short— Yenney played all of 23 minutes for the Red Stars and her most notable contribution was a belter of a shot in the season opener in Houston that smashed against the woodwork. Still, she put in good work while she was here, and could’ve likely nailed down at least a substitute slot were it not for the NWSL’s restrictive roster rules. Here’s hoping she finds a good landing spot soon.
In the meantime, the Red Stars’ most important player has finally returned from war. As more big names work their way back from injury— names like Julie Ertz and Casey Short— Chicago will become a force to be reckoned with this season.