Chicago Draws Sky Blue FC 1-1 at Home

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The Red Stars came away with a 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC at Toyota Park, stretching a three-game undefeated streak. Sofia Huerta has scored in back-to-back games for her second goal of the season.
 
Chicago started things off right by notching their second quickest goal in club history. A Huerta cross found its way into the back of the net 44 seconds into the match.
 
Halfway through the first half, the Red Stars nearly widened the lead as a lob into the box was met by Yuki Nagasato. With a head flip backward, the ball bounced off the crossbar, falling into the goalkeeper’s hands.
 
Late in the first half, Michelle Vasconcelos almost found her first goal of her career after finding herself all alone in the box with Sky Blue keeper Kailen Sheridan. Taking a touch, Vasconcelos tried to chip the ball over Sheridan, but it wasn’t enough out of reach, being caught from close range.
 
With second half pressure, Vasconcelos received a lobbed ball over the backline. With a touch, the ball was deflected, but she regained possession and crossed it to wide-open Nagasato at the top of the box. Nagasato ran up on the ball, but the shot was just wide of the net.
 
New Jersey nearly found the equalizer, but Alyssa Naeher was called upon after Carli Lloyd created space in the box. Feet away from the goal, Naeher stepped off her line to meet the shot and deflected the ball out of danger, keeping the one goal lead for Chicago.
 
But Sky Blue came back and equalized in the 78th minute with their first goal of the season. Rookie Savannah McCaskill turned at the top of the box and struck it toward the net. Taking a slight deflection off a Chicago defender, the ball bounced out of reach of Naeher, finishing in the back of the net.
 
Chicago will be back on the road on Saturday, April 28, when the Red Stars head to Washington to take on the Spirit in their first contest of the season. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on the NWSL app and the go90 app.

- CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT -

 
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Sky Blue FC
DATE: April 21, 2018
VENUE: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
KICKOFF: 7:00 p.m. CT
ATTENDANCE: 2,413
WEATHER: 41 degrees, cloudy
 
Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
CHI                               1          0          1
SBFC                            0          1          1
 
CHI - Sofia Huerta                                                       1’
SBFC - Savannah McCaskill (Katie Johnson)              78’
 
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher (capt.); 14-Sarah Gorden, 7-Taylor Comeau, 5-Katie Naughton, 3-Arin Gilliland; 24-Danielle Colaprico (13-Lauren Kaskie, 90), 2-Nikki Stanton, 11-Sofia Huerta; 4-Alyssa Mautz, 15-Michele Vasconcelos (19-Summer Green, 82) 12-Yuki Nagasato
Substitutes: 21-Emily Boyd, 25-Erin Yenney
Head Coach: Rory Dames
 
Sky Blue FC Lineup: 1-Kailen Sheridan; 8-Erica Skroski, 13-Rebekah Stott, 22-Mandy Freeman (14-Katyn Johnson, 66), 31-Christina Gibbons; 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 11-Raquel Rodriguez (2-McKenzie Meehan, 82), 16-Sarah Killion; 6-Shea Groom, 12-Janine Beckie, 21-Savannah McCaskill (73-Madison Tiernan, 86)
Substitutes: 7-Jen Hoy, 19-Adriana Leon, 24-Michaela Abam, 27-Caroline Casey
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
 
Stats Summary: CHI / SBFC
Shots: 20/11
Shots on Goal: 6/4
Saves: 3/5
Corner Kicks: 4/4
Fouls: 9/3
Offside: 4/4
 
Misconduct Summary:
none
 
Officials:
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Asst. Referee: Adrienne McDonald, Gjovalin Bori
4th Official: Kyle Hannon

Chicago Falls 3-2 to Portland in 2018 Home Opener

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The Chicago Red Stars fell to Portland Thorns FC 3-2 in the 2018 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) home opener at Toyota Park. Midfielder Alyssa Mautz earned the two Chicago goals, while Sofia Huerta assisted each.
 
Portland found the first goal in the ninth minute of the match. Off a corner kick from Meghan Klingenberg, midfielder Lindsey Horan controlled the ball and struck it past a diving Alyssa Naeher.
 
With Portland’s high pressure, the Red Stars were forced to play much of the first half out of the backline.
 
The Red Stars adjusted and were able to attack up the field. It paid off in the 31st minute with Summer Green producing skilled moves to get inside the box. Green was able to toe-poke the ball out to Huerta, who further moved the ball out to Mautz in the side of the 18-yard box. Mautz took a touch and shot, which was deflected over Adrianna Franch for the equalizer.
 
But just before halftime, Portland was able to regain their lead. Captain Christine Sinclair found room up the field. In a 1v1 situation, Naeher came off her line to meet Sinclair near the edge of the box. But unable to deflect the ball, Sinclair calmly slid it into an open net, taking a 2-1 lead into the second half.
 
Minutes into the second 90, Chicago were quick to threaten. After a Portland corner kick, Chicago quickly countered as Green crossed the ball wide to Gilliland streaking up the sideline. Gilliland sent the ball across the box to the far post, where Franch was able to tip it out for a Red Stars corner.
 
Portland upped their lead in the 65th minute after Danielle Colaprico was charged with a hand ball inside the box. Sinclair stepped up for the kick and slotted it past Naeher to make a 3-1 scoreline.
 
But just minutes later, Red Stars brought the Portland lead to one with another Huerta-Mautz combination. Huerta brought the ball to the end line, cutting it back up to the six-yard box into open space. Mautz met the ball with one touch to send it past Franch.
 
Chicago narrowly equalized twice in the second-half stoppage time with a shot off the crossbar by Huerta and a soaring shot by Yenney. But neither were enough to draw, leaving Chicago with the 3-2 defeat.
 
After the international FIFA break, the Red Stars will pick the season back up on Saturday, April 14, in Rio Tinto Stadium when they visit the newest club to the league, Utah Royals FC, for the Lifetime Game of the Week. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on Lifetime, the NWSL app and the go90 app.

- CHICAGO RED STARS MATCH REPORT -

 
MATCH: Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC
DATE: March 31, 2018
VENUE: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
KICKOFF: 7:15 p.m. CT
ATTENDANCE: 13,678
WEATHER: 44 degrees, cloudy
 
Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
CHI                               1          1          2
POR                             2          1          3
 
POR - Lindsey Horan (Meghan Klingenberg)              9’
CHI - Alyssa Mautz (Sofia Huerta)                              31’
POR - Christine Sinclair                                              40’
POR - Christine Sinclair (penalty kick)                                    65’
CHI - Alyssa Mautz (Sofia Huerta)                              67’
 
Chicago Red Stars Lineup: 1-Alyssa Naeher (capt.); 7-Taylor Comeau, 5-Katie Naughton, 16-Samantha Johnson, 14-Sarah Gorden; 2-Nikki Stanton (25-Erin Yenney, 85), 24-Danielle Colaprico, 11-Sofia Huerta; 19-Summer Green (15-Michele Vasconcelos, 80), 4-Alyssa Mautz, 3-Arin Gilliland
Substitutes: 13-Lauren Kaskie, 21-Emily Boyd
Head Coach: Rory Dames
 
Portland Thorns FC Lineup: 24-Adrianna Franch; 2-Katherine Reynolds, 16-Emily Sonnett, 20-Kelly Hubly; 23-Margaret Purce, 30-Celeste Boureille, 10-Lindsey Horan, 25-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Christine Sinclair (capt.), 34-Tyler Lussi (22-Ifeoma Onumonu, 46), 26-Mallory Weber (27-Elizabeth Ball, 72)
Substitutes: 33-Britt Eckerstrom, 36-Angela Salem, 39-Sandra Yu
Assistant Coach: Rich Gunney
 
Stats Summary: CHI / POR
Shots: 12/14
Shots on Goal: 3/5
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 3/3
Fouls: 9/12
Offside: 0/5
 
Misconduct Summary:
POR - Celeste Boureille (caution)                              58’
CHI - Danielle Colaprico (caution)                              64’
 
Officials:
Referee: Greg Dopka
Asst. Referee: Gjovalin Bori, Jeffrey Swartzel
4th Official: Ethan Buege
 

Chicago Hosts Portland in Season Home Opener

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The Red Stars will host Portland Thorns FC in Chicago’s 2018 home opener this Saturday, March 31, following the MLS-side Chicago Fire and Portland Timbers match at Toyota Park. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on the NWSL app and go90 app.
 
Portland, the 2017 NWSL Champions, were defeated last week as North Carolina Courage found a second-half goal to claim the win. North Carolina’s Debinha tallied the only goal of the match in the 70thminute.
 
Portland will look a bit different this season, as the roster lost some familiar names and gained fresh faces.
 
The Thorns will have a veteran backline in front of 2017 Goalkeeper of the Year Adrianna Franch as Emily Sonnett, Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges and Katherine Reynold return. The midfield will be led by U.S. Women’s National Team member Lindsey Horan, while Canadian Christine Sinclair, who netted eight goals in 2017, leads the attack.
 
From last season, the Thorns will be without Allie Long after a trade to Seattle and Nadia Nadim (6 goals) after signing with Manchester City in England. For the start of the season, Portland will also be missing U.S. WNT midfielder Tobin Heath due to injury recovery, while Hayler Raso (6 goals) and newcomers Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter will be away with the Australian National Team for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying until mid-April.
 
Chicago has lost the last three matches against Portland with a 7-3 score deficit. Despite the score, of Portland’s seven goals, five were scored by players either no longer on the team or on international duty this week (Nadim, Raso, Sykes).
 
During the offseason, Chicago defeated Portland 1-0 during the Thorns Spring Invitational. Red Stars defender Arin Gilliland scored the lone goal in the 62nd minute of the match.
 
After the international FIFA break, the Red Stars will pick the season back up on Saturday, April 14, in Rio Tinto Stadium when they visit the newest club to the league, Utah Royals FC, for the Lifetime Game of the Week. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast live on Lifetime, the NWSL app and the go90 app.

2017 Series History:
April 29 - Loss @ Portland; 1-0 (Nadim 27’)
August 12 - Loss @ Home; 2-3 (Raso 3’/Sinclair 9’/Press 16’/Huerta 38’/Sonnett 55’)
September 3 - Loss @ Portland; 3-1 (Raso 2’/Sykes 13’/Huerta 71’/Nadim 83’)
 
International Call-ups:
United States
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and defender Sofia Huerta were called up to the U.S. WNT for the upcoming friendly against Mexico on April 5 (7 p.m ET.; Jacksonville, Florida) and April 8 (12:30 p.m. CT; Houston, Texas). Both Julie Ertz and Casey Short were left off the roster due to injuries.
 
Australia
Forward Sam Kerr was called up to the Australian National Team ahead of a friendly against Thailand on March 26, and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
 
National Team Player Replacement
Due to Kerr being called into Australia National Team duty, former University of Louisville midfielder Erin Yenney has been given a National Team Player Replacement contract for the upcoming game in Houston. Yenney earned her first appearance in the season opener when she entered the game with 16 minutes remaining and helped secure a point on the road.