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Portland Thorns 3, Chicago Red Stars 0: What We Learned

Red Stars fall to Thorns FC in Providence Park in front of record breaking home opener

Photo | Nikita Taparia

The Chicago Red Stars fell to Portland Thorns FC, 2-0 on Sunday evening.

It’s the second consecutive loss for the Red Stars as they tried to end their first eight weeks of the season on a result before they head off on World Cup break. While the league is going on a break for the World Cup, the Red Stars have their bye-week in play as well. Chicago won’t have a match until June 23, which is a long time to think about back-to-back losses.

Here’s some things we learned from the Red Stars’ most recent loss.

Sometimes A Break Is Nice

Time to hit the reset button. Chicago Red Stars haven’t played the most inspiring soccer the their last two matches, and it feels like the World Cup break and bye week are happening at a good time.

Big hitters for the Red Stars in Vanessa DiBernardo and Danielle Colaprico have had to navigate themselves through some lingering injury waters, and while they’ve put together some more than capable performances, the idea of 3 weeks off probably sounds kind of nice.

“We just have to find a little bit of an identity here over the next few weeks and maybe catch a break or two,” said Dames in post game comments. “We have a tired group, I think we’re the only team that hasn’t had a bye yet, so we’ll finally get a few weeks here to kind of get break and recover and get ready for what’s next.”

Playing From Behind Is A Struggle

Chicago have found themselves playing from behind in a match twice in a row now and have failed to play out of it.

“This is the second week in a row that we’ve given away a bad first goal to put ourselves behind and get caught chasing,” said Dames.

After what looked like mental lapses due to failure in executing their game plan against Washington, the match against Portland was a chance to improve on that. For any team in this league to do that against the Thorns home opener was going to be a daunting task.

All The Numbers Looked Good, Except The One That Mattered

Prior to this match, Chicago’s record when conceding first was at 2 out of 3 matches as a loss. Going on the road, in front of record breaking 20k for a Thorns home opener is no easy task. In fact, the Chicago Red Stars’ stats for this match where dominant in areas that in other games would maybe be perceived as the ‘better’ team.

Passing accuracy, possession, total shots, were all numbers that were in the Red Stars favor, but at the end of the day it’s the goals that insure you the win. For now, it’s two consecutive losses for the Red Stars, and it’s two losses with no goals scored and a struggle to play from behind.

While it never feels great to lose - and some may overreact to consecutive losses - the Red Stars find themselves in the middle of the table, actually one point better than they were this time last season, as they head off on break and hit the reset button.


The Red Stars take on Reign FC back home at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview on June 23rd for their Bark in the Park promo night.