The Chicago Red Stars face the team they knocked off in the 2019 semi-finals on Wednesday, the Portland Thorns. The two teams are both looking for their first win of the NWSL Challenge Cup, after both teams lost their opening matches 2-1. For the Red Stars, Morgan Gautrat scored the team’s lone goal wearing her married name on her jersey for the first time.
Last time out, we saw Bianca St. Georges and Zoe Morse got their first career NWSL starts, and head coach Rory Dames told reporters this week there will be plenty more debutants on Wednesday. Dames has said the opening matches of this tournament will be “scripted,” meaning no matter what’s going on, he knows which subs are coming in when.
With all teams guaranteed a spot in the tournament knockout rounds, Dames is looking at the first three matches as a chance to give young players time on the field, try things, and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.
He said he stuck with that plan on Saturday, even though it may have cost the team a result.
“I feel fairly confident that had we not had the game plan scripted, and we left the group that we had in going, that we probably would have found a second goal,” Dames said Tuesday.
The game kicks off at 11:30 a.m. CT, which is 10:30 in the morning in Utah. Pro players aren’t typically used to playing matches in the morning, but Dames said the team has been training at 10:30 a.m. or earlier every day since the team arrived at the tournament, so adjusting shouldn’t be a big issue.
“As far as our routine, and when we wake up, and when we have breakfast—that kind of stuff, we’ve been doing it since we got here,” Dames said. “So, I feel like we’re adjusted in that regard.”
Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
NWSL Challenge Cup Game #2 | Zions Bank Stadium, Herriman, Utah
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. CT
Streaming: CBS All Access (see the note below for some tips)
Live Tweets: @HotTimeOldTown
How do I watch this match?
If you live in the U.S., you’ll need to have a CBS All Access subscription to watch this tournament. You get one week for free, and then it’s $6 a month. The tournament is a month long, so if you remember to actually cancel, it’s only $6. Between matches, you can binge watch all the CSI: Omaha you can handle.
Prior to the tournament, over-the-air CBS was only planning on carrying the first match and the final. But, the Courage-Thorns opener had a pretty big rating, so it’s possible more matches will move off of the streaming service and onto CBS. But, this one’s still on streaming.
If you live outside the U.S., you can watch for free on Twitch.
Red Stars: OUT: Alyssa Mautz (Left knee), Arin Wright (Postpartum) QUESTIONABLE: Zoe Redei (Right thigh), Danielle Colaprico (Right ankle), Tierna Davidson (Left leg)
Thorns: OUT: Adrianna Franch (Right Knee), Katherine Reynolds (Right Thigh), Becky Sauerbrunn (Left Hip), Sophia Smith (Left Knee) QUESTIONABLE: None
Some Light Pregame Reading
- Here’s our recap of the Red Stars’ 2-1 loss to the Spirit.
- TJ talked to Michele Vasconcelos about what it’s like brining her daughter with her into the “NWSL Village” for the tournament.
Dames rotated all 11 positions:
LET'S GO RED STARS!— Chicago Red Stars (@chiredstarsPR) July 1, 2020
Here is your starting XI for #PORvCHI, presented by @meijer. pic.twitter.com/7Uu6STOstp
And for the Thorns...
Our Starting XI vs. @chiredstarsPR!#NWSLChallengeCup | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/KjPCCzsPY5— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) July 1, 2020
Start the conversation in the comments below!