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You Either Will Or You Won’t: Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns FC, NWSL Week 19 Preview

The Red Stars take on the Thorns with a chance to maintain playoff position

Nikita Taparia Photography

It’s a quick turn around for the Chicago Red Stars this weekend, as they head to Portland to take on Thorns FC this Sunday.

Chicago heads to the pacific northwest on short rest and on a two-game losing skid. On Wednesday, the Red Stars lost a midweek match to Orlando Pride, the team currently in last place in the league table. The recent loss left the Red Stars with little to no answers, as they now go head to head with the team sitting on top of the league.

In post game comments after a loss to Orlando Head Coach Rory Dames said, “We either will or we won’t,” when it comes to pushing through the final stretch of the season. While rookie Tierna Davidson suggested the team have “All nails from here on out.”

The Red Stars are battling a losing streak with 6 games remaining on their schedule and a history of winless matches against Portland.

Where We Last Saw Them

Chicago and Portland last played each other back in June. A match that took place during the World Cup portion of the schedule was also the home opener for the Thorns. Red Stars would go on to lose the match 3-0, and it would mark the second of an eventual three game losing streak for Chicago during the summer.

Starting Lineup We’d Like To See

After rolling out with their ideal eleven to start their previous match, the Red Stars opened their second half against Orlando with a formation change with Tierna Davidson and Julie Ertz pushed into a box midfield. It was interesting. And it produced One Goal after 90 minutes of play. So we’ll just say we miss the 4-3-3 with that kick ass personnel that’s still together.

Keys To The Match

Where’s The Confidence?: Chicago’s momentum came to a screeching halt as Alex Morgan was nearly stretchered off the pitch. After going down a goal in the first half, the Red Stars struggled to find their way in the game, looking even rattled. Questionable officiating aside, no one is going to feel bad for a team sitting second in the standings.

What’s The End Game?: Hard to believe we’re looking for statement games this deep into the season from a team with so much talent on the roster but here we are. A win streak snapped at 5 that matches all previous club streaks, a team that no longer draws, but either wins or loses. Big talent names, veteran players, with young players off the bench. It’s questionable to assume there’s going to be a contrast from prior seasons. Is this the weekend this squad actually shows us they’re different from their previous shadows of contentment?

Game On: Matches on short rest is going to be a theme for the Red Stars going forward, so please just get out of Portland alive.

Wild Prediction

The Red Stars Win ?

Players To Watch

Chicago Red Stars: Alyssa Naeher, bless you. Save us.

Portland Thorns: Christine Sinclair, we are not worthy.

How To Watch

Kickoff: Sunday, August 25 at 2:00 p.m. CT in Portland, Oregon at Providence Park


Stream: ESPN App or Yahoo Sports

Final Thoughts

How are you feeling about the final stretch of games? Do you think the Red Stars finally get a win in Providence Park? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!