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There Will Be Dogs: Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Spirit, NWSL Week 14 Preview

The Red Stars begin a grueling three-game week on Sunday

Photo provided by Chicago Red Stars

Grab some brunch and head over to Toyota Park, because the Red Stars have a game this Sunday against the Washington Spirit. Chicago will try and extend their 3 game undefeated streak, having won two of their last three matches.

The Red Stars picked up a big three points against Utah Royals FC last Saturday. The 2-0 victory coming with goals from Katie Naughton and Vanessa DiBernardo. This Sunday marks the beginning of a three-game week for Chicago, two of which are on the road.

Chicago will want to set the tone of their busy week against a Washington Spirit team that they beat earlier this month.

Where We Last Saw Them

With Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, and Sofia Huerta away for National Team Duty - Chicago last faced Washington on June 2nd. A game that took place after a five hour delay and still had harsh weather conditions throughout, the short handed Red Stars collected 3 points on the road with goals from Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato. Rookie Emily Boyd made her goalkeeping debut and notched her first shut out.

Starting Lineup We’d Like To See

With three games in seven days and a roster that can still find itself short-sided at times, player rotation is everyone’s best friend this week. Morgan Brian gets a start if she is ready and available. Nikki Stanton slots in if she is unable to. We’d like to see Gilliland with a rest, with Brooke Elby on the backline. Welcome to Chicago, Elby. Shine on.

Keys To The Match

Punch away the parity: The Washington Spirit currently sit in 8th place in the NWSL standings. They are currently without star playmaker Mallory Pugh, and have struggled to score any goals in their last 4 matches. Despite the talent on their roster, DC is currently winless in their last five matches.

While on paper this is a team that Chicago should beat, the Red Stars won’t want to fall victim to playing down to their opponent. In fact it should be an opportunity to show they can actually dominate a game for 90 minutes, a task they have yet to do this season. Attack early and often.

Bark in the park: It’s dog day at Toyota Park, so, yes. Dogs are a key to the Match.

Players to Watch

Washington Spirit: Heyyyy Frannie. If Ordega scores against Chicago like she always does, let’s just hope it’s once and very early.

Chicago Red Stars: While Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato have given fans much to cheer for, the increasing minutes for Vanessa DiBernardo and Casey Short is giving them new reasons to hope.

How To Watch

Kickoff: Sunday, July 2 at 5pm CT, in Bridgeview, IL at Toyota Park

Stream: go90 app, NWSL.com (for international fans)

Final Thoughts

Will Chicago put together a dominating performance? Can the Red Stars pull into the top 4 this weekend? Do you love dogs? Tell us in the comments below!