After a four-game away game that began in mid-August, the Red Stars are finally back home to face the Kansas City Current this Wednesday. The Chicago Red Stars go into this game undefeated in their last two games, having tied a good OL Reign side with a score of 2-2 in their last game.
While the Red Stars finally look like they’re on the rise in this final part of the season, the team still needs to convert that hard into points from their last four games of the season to secure their place in the playoffs. set.
Right now, the Red Stars are in sixth place: the league’s final playoff spot. But Chicago is far from being considered a playoff shoo-in. Angel City in 7th place is just one point behind the Red Stars, while North Carolina Courage in 8th place is five points behind, with both sides having a game in their hands at Chicago. Wednesday’s game will be one of Chicago’s toughest tests this season as they take on Kansas City, currently top of the league.
Chicago Red Stars record vs Kansas City Current: 3W-2D-2L
After losing four of their first five games this season, the Currents have gone unbeaten in their last thirteen league games. This massive turnaround has propelled Kansas City to the top of the league and has become an unbeatable squad in the NWSL this season. What makes the Current dangerous is their ability to rely on multiple attacking players to complete goals. Kristen Hamilton, CeCe Kiser and Lo’eau LaBonta all lead the team this season with six goals and will all try to threaten Chicago’s goal on Wednesday night. While the Current’s playoff spot is almost guaranteed for this season, the Current will look to continue their undefeated streak to receive the first-round bye awarded to the top two teams in the competition.
Alyssa Naeher was arguably the Red Stars’ best player in their last game against the OL Reign. With some phenomenal stops, Naeher was instrumental in giving Chicago a point in what was a very difficult away game. The back three should remain the same as from the OL Reign game, and the four in midfield should be center stage in my opinion with Colaprico and DiBernardo, with St-Georges and Luebbert serving as fullbacks for the team. After serving with the USWNT, Mallory Pugh only got 45 minutes off the bench against the Reign. After a full week back in training with the Red Stars, Pugh should start Wednesday’s game alongside forwards Ava Cook and Yuki Nagasato.
Staying Hungry: The Red Stars will have to like this game more than their opponents if they want to get a result. Given how dominant the Current has been this season, the Red Stars will have to outdo their opponents both in and out of possession to make up for the quality/form difference. Chicago needs to be boosted not only by the fact that they are going up against the frontrunners, but also by the fact that they are in a very tight playoff race where every point counts.
Making it count: Las timeout, the Reign dominated the scoring opportunities, especially in the first half. However, the Red Stars were opportunistic and took advantage of their few opportunities. Goals from Ella Stevens and Danielle Colaprico saw the Red Stars work out an uncanny 2-2 draw away from home. The Red Stars will need to continue this efficiency in front of goal, and with Mal Pugh’s re-entry into the starting XI, the Red Stars should be able to score even more easily.
Date + Time: September 14 19:00 CST
TV: The U
Current: Paramount+, Twitch (International)
The Red Stars will know how crucial and how difficult a game this will be. The Current’s three-and-a-half-month unbeaten run should give the away team confidence going into this game.
However, the Red Stars also need to be confident in their abilities and especially in their attacking abilities, which seem to find form in front of goal. In what is sure to be a tough and hard-fought match.