The Chicago Red Stars ended their regular season last weekend with a five game win streak heading into their postseason.
The Red Stars played host to Utah Royals FC where Chicago was playing to improve their chances at the number 2 seed, while Utah was playing for their playoff lives. It was a bit of an awkward game overall for the Red Stars, with the Royals on short rest, Chicago appeared to never settle into their game play.
Two goals in a Two minute span for both sides heading into halftime, things didn’t get less weird for Chicago, as they absorbed pressure from Utah and ultimately won the game on a late game goal from Yuki Nagasato. This season, the Red Stars have won pretty, won ugly, and now won weird.
Here’s some things we learned during the match as we say: bring on the playoffs.
Will It Into Existence
There have been various moments this season where a number of Red Stars players have willed big game moments into existence. Whether it’s been Kerr's phantom assist on goals or this phantom goal line clearance from Morgan Brian on Julie Ertz’s literal goal line save. Here’s hoping they will a championship run this year.
Did we mention we love a goal-line clearance? Here's another, courtesy of Julie Ertz. pic.twitter.com/2Tuq41r5ib— Our Game Magazine (@OurGameMagazine) September 29, 2019
The Red Stars needed a final result in their last regular season game combined with a little luck, and they got it on Sunday when the Portland Thorns lost to Reign FC, insuring Chicago the #2 seed and a chance to host a home semifinal in Bridgeview for the first time since 2015. Chicago will face the still to-be-determined #3 seed on Sunday, October 20th at SeatGeek Stadium. Tickets are available now!
Christen Press is One of the Best Red Stars Strikers of All Time and Has Mad Love for Chicago and Casey Short
Saturday marked the return of Christen Press since her departure back in the 2018 offseason. In post game comments she reflected on her time in Chicago and coming back to face the Red Stars.
“Well, I’ve actually been [back] here a few times,” said Press “but I have actually not been here to play against Chicago once, ever, in my career.”
“It’s the first time [playing against Chicago] so, I felt a little nostalgic to see all the girls and see a lot of players that were kind of like younger up-and-coming players [then] but now they’re great players, starting players on the team, I think that makes me happy. I feel a lot of good memories from my time here so it was good to come back.”
The U.S. Women’s National Team play their final victory tour match in Chicago on Sunday and Press is looking forward to playing in Chicago once again, this time for country, in front of the city and fans she used to call home.
“I loved being in Chicago. It’s a great city. So, I get to spend a couple of days here so I’m excited for that, and then come back again. It’s always great to be able to spend time in this wonderful city and play in front of these incredible fans.”
While concluding her post game mixed zone, Press gave the mic drop on Casey Short’s stellar club season with the Red Stars this year after being left off the U.S. roster for the 2019 World Cup, simply saying “Casey’s the best 1 v 1 defender in the world.”