The Chicago Red Stars are back at home this weekend where they play host to the North Carolina Courage and welcome back their World Cup champion teammates.
The Red Stars are still looking to string together some wins, as they have two wins out of their last five matches. Chicago will try and build off their most recent win against Houston Dash, where Katie Johnson got her first goal of the season and Emily Boyd earned her first clean sheet.
Extending their win column against the Courage won’t be easy as the reigning NWSL champs currently sit in first place on the league’s table - and North Carolina and Chicago have a long history of table chasing against each other.
Where We Last Saw Them
This will be the third and final regular season game between Chicago and North Carolina. The two teams last played against each other back in May in a Mother’s Day match-up. The Red Stars won 3-1, on goals from Sam Kerr and Michele Vasconcelos.
Starting Lineup We’d Like To See
This match is being billed as the Welcome Home game for U.S. internationals and World Cup champion Red Stars. We might see some names return to the starting XI like Alyssa Naeher and Tierna Davidson.
Danielle Colaprico is listed as questionable and has been dealing with a lingering knee injury. If she needs to sit out the match we’d like to see Vanessa DiBernardo starting with Morgan Brian and Julie Ertz in the midfield.
Nikki Stanton will be missing this match due to suspension from Yellow Card accumulation while Maria Sanchez is out on international duty with Mexico for the Pan-American games.
Keys To The Match
Stars vs Stars: North Carolina is welcoming the return of their own World Cup champions in Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, and Jessica McDonald. The duo of Mewis and Dunn and their ability to set up their teammates will be a daunting task for Chicago.
6 point swings: The Red Stars are officially into their second half of the season. And with matches like these against top tier teams may have tie breaker implications as the season draws to a close. Results are important, wins are better.
Players To Watch
North Carolina Courage: Crystal Dunn and Debinha. Dunn returns to NWSL as a World Cup champion and to the Courage where she will move higher up the pitch, a position where she does the most damage against the Red Stars. Debinha has been facilitating an attack for the Courage the last several weeks.
Chicago Red Stars: Sam Kerr and Alyssa Naeher. North Carolina likes to shoot, Naeher will need to come up big to keep Chicago in it. Can’t win games without goals, and Kerr will have a big audience watching her in front of goal.
Red Stars win by more than 1 goal.
How To Watch
Kickoff: Sunday, July 21 at 5 p.m. CT at Seat Geek Stadium in Bridgeview, IL
TV: ESPN 2
Stream: Yahoo Sports
Big Game, will you be attending? Who do you want to see get the start? Do you think the Red Stars walk away with the victory? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!