The Red Stars play host to Portland Thorns FC for the second time this season. The match will take place on Saturday, June 16, at Toyota Park. The match will be the first of several National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) games played on ESPNEWS this year, kicking off at 7:00 p.m. CT.
Recently, the Red Stars are on a high after flowing into the FIFA international break with a 2-0 win against the Washington Spirit. Without the help of captain Julie Ertz, forward Sofia Huerta and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, valuable players had to step up on the road.
Australian international Sam Kerr tallied her fifth goal of the season to lead Chicago into the second half with a one-goal edge. Yuki Nagasato followed the start of the second half with her first goal of the year, leaving Chicago’s 2-0 lead through the rest of the game.
The Thorns come into this weekend’s match tied in points with Chicago (15), but due to the tie-breaker rule, Portland landed a fourth-place spot in the standings after defeating Chicago earlier in the season. Portland is currently coming off a devastating 4-1 loss to front runners North Carolina during a battle at home.
Portland finished the first half down by one thanks to a Lynn Williams penalty kick in the 31st minute. Debinha doubled North Carolina’s lead nearly 10 minutes into the second half. In a matter of two minutes, Sam Mewis aided to Williams’ brace while adding one of her own midway through the half. The Courage were on their way to a shutout until the Thorns’ Kat Reynolds found the back of the net in a last minute effort.
In the first duel between the two clubs, Portland handed Chicago their first loss of the season during a 2-3 battle in Chicago’s home opener. Midfielder Lindsey Horan started the five-goal game in just the first 10 minutes, while Alyssa Mautz equalized later in the half to create a 1-1 scoreline, only to be matched with a go-ahead goal by captain Christine Sinclair. Sinclair earned her brace in 20 minutes into the half to widen the scoreline. Moments after Sinclair’s final goal, Mautz completed her brace to bring the scoreline by one. The goal wasn’t momentum enough to edge out the West Coast rivals.