After nearly a month absence, the 2017 NWSL MVP and 2018 Young Australian of the Year, Sam Kerr, has returned to Chicago and will immediately be placed back on the roster for the Red Stars.
Throughout April, Kerr competed with the Australian National Team in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. During the group stage, Kerr tallied three goals, helping propel Australia to top Group B, ultimately qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
During the Semifinals, Australia and Thailand were forced to a penalty kick shutout, where Kerr scored the game-winning penalty to send the Aussies to the Final.
Recently, Kerr has been a crucial part in leading Australia to a sixth-place FIFA Ranking, topping the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) above international women’s powerhouses in Japan and Korea DPR.
Not shy in the NWSL, Kerr experienced her best year yet during the 2017 season with Sky Blue FC. The star forward reached feats no other player has reached since the inception of the league, scoring the most goals in a single season (17) and the most goals in a single game (4). She currently holds the record for most goals in the NWSL with 43, surpassing soccer greats like Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair.
With Kerr’s return, Erin Yenney comes off the roster as a National Team Replacement for the Red Stars. The former University of Louisville midfielder earned 23 minutes of play, including time during the season opener in Houston, and struck a shot on frame that hit the crossbar.
After a road trip to Washington, Kerr and the Red Stars will return to Toyota Park for their second midweek game on Wednesday, May 2, to take on the Orlando Pride for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on NWSL app and go90 app.
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
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 on Goal: 6/4
Corner Kicks: 4/4
Referee: Reyna Fonseca
Asst. Referee: Adrienne McDonald, Gjovalin Bori
4th Official: Kyle Hannon