Saturday was supposed to be fun. It was Pride in Chicago, which the Red Stars also celebrated as part of their home match vs Racing Louisville FC who feature the NWSL’s weakest defense so far in 2021. With the Fire slated to finish off the day with a nightcap vs Philadelphia, it could have been a wonderful summer soccer afternoon.
Instead, a mixture of downpours and tornado warnings delayed the Red Stars match over two hours only for them to fall 3-0 to Racing Louisville in the teams’ first ever meeting.
After the Red Stars dominated possession and created the better chances in the first half hour (the two best opportunities falling to Vanessa DiBernardo), Louisville striker Ebony Salmon scored her second goal in three games for the club after signing from Bristol City in the English FA Women’s Super League.
A low cross from Cece Kizer found Salmon in space in the middle of the 18-yard-box after Sarah Gorden was caught ball watching and Danielle Colaprico didn’t track back quick enough to help.
Unfortunately for the Red Stars, her role in that goal would be the least of Colaprico’s worries. In the 55th minute, she was shown a second yellow for deliberately pulling on the shirt of former Red Star Yuki Nagasato to prevent her being in alone on goal.
On the ensuing free kick, Nagasato scored anyway by chipping a loose ball over Alyssa Naeher to double the lead and put the game away.
Another former Red Star got the chance to celebrate when Savannah McCaskill tapped home Louisville’s third.
From there, the game was a formality as Louisville dominated proceedings and the Red Stars made a lot of substitutions with both teams simply killing time.
Right now, the Red Stars simply aren’t a good soccer team; a group that is somehow less than the sum of its parts.
The Colaprico red card, an obvious yellow card offense that could easily have been avoided, is a good metaphor for the entire squad: either they’re checked out, or they don’t care. Regardless of which is the reality, they owe each other and the fans a whole lot more.