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Don’t Look Down: Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars, NWSL Week 17 Preview

Chicago Red Stars take on Washington Spirit this weekend as the league table tightens

Shaina Benhiyoun Photography

The Chicago Red Stars head out on the road this weekend to take on Washington Spirit, as both teams welcome their U.S. National team players back from a victory tour match.

For Chicago, they will see the return of Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian, and Tierna Davidson. The Red Stars will try to build on their winning streak which currently sits at four. The most recent of their wins came against Utah Royals FC. Chicago scored two goals in their shutout win against Utah, with both Sam Kerr and Brooke Elby scoring.

Chicago will face off against Washington this Saturday in their second regular season meeting with a chance to build on their current place in the top four of the table.

Where We Last Saw Them

The Red Stars last saw Washington Spirit back in June. The first match of the “World Cup” portion of their schedule, Chicago struggled in their finishing as they generated offense throughout the match. They ultimately fell to the Spirit, 2-0, on an own goal from Yuki Nagasato off a set piece and a goal by Ashley Hatch.

Starting Line Up We’d Like To See

The Red Stars performed well while their national team players were out last weekend, potentially alluding to some champagne problems for the roster moving forward. Depending on nagging injuries and player health, we could see a line similar to a few weeks prior with Arin Wright up top, as Tierna Davidson slots in at left back, while Katie Johnson is an offensive option off the bench.

Keys To The Match

Keep the Cohesion: Chicago closed out their July with wins that saw players being rotated back in with others being shifted into different positions. Whether it’s been a tactical adjustment within the game or player rotation, the Red Stars chemistry has been it’s most consistent in recent games, and will need to continue as other teams begin to vye for playoff positioning.

Light it up: Chicago Red Stars lead the league in results when scoring first with 7 wins and 1 draw. They’ve made it a habit of scoring early and will want to continue that streak as they go up against one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Aubrey Bledsoe.

Players To Watch

Washington Spirit: Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe. She’s come up huge for Washington and has 55 saves this season to go along with a shutout she got against Chicago back in June.

Chicago Red Stars: Yuki Nagasato, she’s been linking up play for the top line and has given us a few memorable moments in Boyds, Maryland already.

Wild Prediction

If she starts up top, an Arin Wright brace.

How To Watch

Kickoff: Saturday, August 10 at 6 p.m. CT

Where: Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Stream: Yahoo Sports or NBC Sports App

Final Thoughts

Do you think the Red Stars will make it five in a row? Who do you want to see start this match? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.