Preview: Chicago Red Stars (a).
Updated: Jun 12, 2022
When? Sunday June 12, 3 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. BST.
Where? Toyota Park, Chicago, IL.
How can I catch the action? The game is being broadcast on Paramount+ for residents of the United States and on Twitch for international supporters.
Well, this has been a crazy week. The 5-0 defeat in Houston wasn't even the most shocking development of the week. The news that Amanda Cromwell and Sam Greene have been placed on administration leave, came as a bolt from the blue for many connected to the club. Seb 'the Headmaster' Hines will take charge of the team for what will be an incredibly difficult game in Chicago. Seb will be hoping to school Chicago on Sunday evening. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.
There doesn't seem to be any let up for the team right now, but hopefully the challenge of playing Chicago on the road will give them something to focus on. This has been a tumultuous week for the team, but then this club isn't exactly unaccustomed to drama. It's nothing new for us fans, at least, is it?
Chicago are a very attack minded team, which is easy to discern when you consider the attacking pieces they have in their arsenal. The likes of Mallory Pugh and Rachel Hill provide plenty of pace and trickery in the attacking third. The Red Stars lead the league in terms of big chances created with 13 (figure 1), they also rank third for shots on target (figure 2). They are a team that like to stretch opposing defences and hit the front early. Their 3 pronged attack allows the wide forwards to run the channels and create space in more central areas for the likes of Yuki Nagasato and Vanessa DiBernardo to exploit.
They are also blessed with plenty of pace and power on the left and right of their midfield. Sarah Luebbert provides plenty of quality on the right as does Jill Aguilera on the left. There's quality all through this team. As we well know.
Figure 1 shows Chicago's ranking in terms of chances created.
Figure 2 shows Chicago's ranking in terms of shots on goal per game.
The Red Stars are set to be without Tierna Davidson, Morgan Gautrat, Bianca St. Georges and Arin Wright through injury.
Kealia Watt, Sarah Woldmoe and Casey Krueger are all on maternity leave.
As for the Orlando Pride, Abi Kim, Carrie Lawrence and Caitlin Cosme are all listed as out. Meggie Dougherty-Howard is available again after passing COVID protocols.
Edit: Mikayla Cluff and Sydney Leroux are doubts, whilst Marta, Caitlin Cosme, Carrie Lawrence and Leah Pruitt are the only players definitely out for Orlando. Bianca St. Georges is available for the home side.
This section will be updated as more information becomes available.
Possible starting XI
I would expect some rotation, especially given that they played in midweek. I imagine they will line-up in a 3-4-3 formation, something like this:
Pugh has started the season in red hot form. Having hit 4 goals in the NWSL Challenge Cup, she has started with 4 in 4 during regular season action. The USWNT star has also chalked up 1 assist during the regular season. Pugh is an energetic, highly intelligent forward. Her movement is excellent, as is her close control; an attribute reinforced by her 71% dribble success rate. Has a fotmob.com rating of 8.14 on the season so far.
The Red Stars have gotten off to a good start, going 3-2-1 on the season so far. Chicago haven't lost in their last 4, having not lost since gameweek 2.
The Pride, however, have not been in great form. They haven't won in their last 3 having conceded 11 goals along the way.
*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com and nwslsoccer.com
Top player image courtesy of Chicago Red Stars.
Cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.
Line-up graphic courtesy of chosen11.com.