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Chicago Red Stars 2, Utah Royals FC 0: What We Learned

The Red Stars score in the beginning and the end and entertain in between

Shaina Benhiyoun Photography

The Chicago Red Stars have kicked off their second half of the season on a win streak as they have won their fourth consecutive game in a row.

The Red Stars won 2-0 over Utah Royals FC on Saturday in front of 4,335 fans with goals from Sam Kerr and Brooke Elby. Chicago opened the scoring early as Kerr notched a goal in the first five minutes, while Elby was able to insure the win in the 85th minute - shortly after subbing on in the second half.

Here’s some things we learned during the match.

All you need is the Team of the Month

While there was discussion for several teams surrounding the absence of the U.S. national team players around several teams for this past weekend, Chicago found themselves with multiple players on NWSL Team of the Month for July.

Casey Short, Sarah Gorden, Vanessa DiBernardo, and Sam Kerr were all representing Chicago and available against Utah Royals FC. Gorden’s defensive work on the ball has helped anchor Chicago’s backline this season, and it was Short’s work on the flank that helped facilitate the Red Stars first goal of the match.

On making the team of the month for four consecutive months, Short credited her teammates in post game comments, saying, “I’m never satisfied, there’s so many things I need to work on or focus on. It’s great and all, but my focus is on my [Red Stars] team and they’re the reason I’m on the Team of the Month.”

While Kerr put away the goal, DiBernardo was also in putting on a performance displaying her vision and IQ on the ball.

Summer of Boyd

Emily Boyd got the start against Utah Royals FC as Alyssa Naeher was away on national team duty, and was one of several players who was relied upon to navigate the Red Stars World Cup portion of the schedule. It was her tenth start of the season and second shut out of the year.

Chicago Red have spilt the wins over Boyd’s ten starts. Her last start was also a clean sheet two weeks ago against Houston Dash, where the Red Stars won, 1-0; before making way to the return of Alyssa Naeher.

“I think during the World Cup period I struggled in making the big save,” said Boyd in post game comments. “I had a big conversation with my coaches about how every game you have 1 or 2 opportunities to save the team or keep the shutout, and I wasn’t doing that. And I think that’s what I had to do today.”

As the Red Stars are on a four-game winning streak, Boyd says the mindset moving forward is a positive one.

“I think we’re positive. We’re excited and ready to tackle any opponent.”

Looking Ahead

The Red Stars head on the road to take on Washington Spirit on August 10, as U.S. National Team players return to NWSL action.