If the Chicago Red Stars are going to win the NWSL Challenge Cup, they aren’t going to risk anyone’s health to do so.
The injury report is out for Saturday’s quarterfinal match against OL Reign, and Yuki Nagasato is listed as out, as are USWNT stars Tierna Davidson and Morgan Gautrat.
Head Coach Rory Dames told reporters this week he was planning to shut down Nagasato and Gautrat for the match.
“I don’t see [Gautrat] or Yuki playing a role on Saturday,” Dames said. “I don’t think we’ll take any chances with them. Morgan got a bone bruise on her knee from when she collided with the goalie, and it’s just not worth doing any kind of long term damage to her for what we’re trying to do on Saturday.”
Davidson started her first match of the tournament Sunday night in the 1-0 win over the Utah Royals, but came off after 30 minutes, which Dames said was scheduled. It’s unclear if she’s now faced a setback in her recovery, or if the Red Stars are just playing it safe.
Danielle Colaprico and Zoe Redei are both listed as questionable for the match (9 p.m. CT, CBS All Access).
“You win and you move on, you lose and you go home, Dames said. “I think everybody here would prefer to win, but I don’t think anybody’s going to be upset about going home, either. So, you go, and you give the best performance you can for the 90 minutes, and whatever happens, happens.”
A quick rule reminder: If the two teams are tied after 90 minutes, they’ll go straight to a penalty shootout. The NWSL will not have teams play 30 minutes of extra time. If the Red Stars win, they’ll face the winner of the Sky Blue FC/Washington Spirit match on Wednesday, with the tournament final set for Sunday, July 26.