It took a couple of games, but it looks like the Chicago Red Stars are back to their winning ways. Or are they? The Red Stars will be heading down to Texas to test this theory against the Houston Dash, who have been dealing with their own early season struggles. Let’s take a look at the injury list.
There’s no new injuries to report on. Julie Ertz and Emily Boyd are still out for an extended period of time. While not appearing in a game yet, 2020 Challenge Cup stand-out Bianca St Georges did return to the bench in Kansas City, so her recovery schedule appears to be reaching its end and she may be ready to return to the pitch soon. The Houston Dash do not appear to have any injuries to report.
Here are three things to watch in this matchup:
I said this for the last game, but both the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash are going to be working on short rest after mid-week games. This certainly makes things a bit more even for the two sides; but while the Red Stars managed to rest players like Danielle Colaprico, Kealia Watt, and Mallory Pugh in the last game, the Dash played their regular lineup with the exception of just Kristie Mewis.
In a game where both teams rely on speed in the final third, it might come down to which team’s attack is the most fresh. If Houston doesn’t have any changes, then Chicago might be able to take advantage of those tired defenders.
Red Card Curse?
This stat is more of a coincidence than anything else, but the Houston Dash have drawn a red card in each of their last two games. The first came against Kansas City when Elizabeth Ball picked up a second yellow and the second was in the match against the Washington Spirit where Andi Sullivan picked up her own second yellow.
As I said, it’s more of a statistical anomaly that in a league where referees have been hesitant to book players, the Houston Dash have had an opponent sent off in two straight matches.
Perpetual Motion Machine
The Chicago Red Stars have picked up their first goal of the 2021 regular season along with their first win of the season. The important thing now is for them to continue this momentum. With this mental block now hopefully eliminated, the Red Stars need to prove that they are still the same dominant team that they’d been in the past. It would also be a slight bit of revenge against the Houston Dash for beating them in the 2020 Challenge Cup final.
While they’ve provided two goals, the Red Stars need Mallory Pugh and Kealia Watt to really step up and start scoring consistently in order for anyone to finally feel safe with this squad.
Chicago Red Stars (4-3-3): Alyssa Naeher; Tatumn Milazzo, Kayla Sharples, Tierna Davidson, Sarah Gorden; Morgan Gautrat, Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo; Mallory Pugh, Makenzy Doniak, Kealia Watt
Houston Dash (4-3-3): Jane Campbell; Haley Hanson, Megan Oyster, Katie Naughton, Allysha Chapman; Shea Groom, Sophie Schmidt, Gabby Seiler; Nichelle Prince, Rachel Daly, Kristie Mewis
How To Watch
Saturday, May 29th, 7:30 PM CDT; At BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX, on CBS Sports and online internationally on Twitch