The Chicago Red Stars entered their game versus the Seattle Reign with their heads held high. They had just beat Sky Blue FC 3-1 and star forward Sam Kerr had just become the first player in NWSL history to score 50 career goals.
Now, they entered a game vs the Reign who were in 2nd place in the NWSL and only four points behind the Red Stars who sat at 4th place.
This was a crucial game as Chicago continued in the middle of the fray of four teams fighting for three spots and the result was a 1-0 win which put them in 3rd place trailing the Reign by one point.
“We expect to make the playoffs. We’ve got to figure out how to be able to play at a quality of a level that gets us, not only into game 25 but past game 25 and that’s what we’re trying to do.” Red stars coach Rory Dames said of the tight NWSL playoff race.
In this game, the Red Stars suffered two major losses in Arin Gilliland (neck) and Danielle Colaprico (leg).
“Arin went to the hospital as precautionary. She was responsive, she passed all the tests. Everything is okay, I think it just scared her and honestly, it scared us. Dani is up and walking around. She had a headache and when she got up she was a little woozy and we’re never going to mess with that.” Dames said of the two injuries.
Last week against Sky Blue FC, star forward Sam Kerr became the first player in NWSL history to score 50 career goals. She did this against her former team.
“I didn’t think I had played as well the last few games so it was of a relief for me to score some goals and help my team out and then to reach 50 was pretty special with a new team,” Kerr said. “Like I said, it’s back to this game and it’s gone now and I’ll celebrate when I’ll get to 100.”
Kerr, 24, now leads the NWSL in goals this season.
This team has been powering through some struggles but overall, they’ve managed to keep their heads up and make ends meet thus far.
“At the end of the day, we got three points and that’s that.” Kerr said.
Current NWSL Standings (As of July 14, 2018)
- North Carolina Courage – 45 points
- Seattle Reign FC – 29 points
- Orlando Pride – 28 points
- Chciago Red Stars – 28 points
- Portland Thorns FC – 23 points
- Utah Royals – 21 points
- Houston Dash – 20 points
- Washington Spirit – 10 points
- Sky Blue FC – 3 points
Player to watch: An underrated player for the Red Stars to keep an eye on is #10 midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. DiBernardo has grown as a player over the past few games for the Red Stars and has excelled as a two way player and as the Red Stars move on down the stretch, she is a player to keep an eye on. She may not be super visible on the score sheet but she’s always buzzing around making plays.