Welcome to the match thread as Orlando Pride (2-3-2.8 points) travels to Illinois to face off Chicago Red Stars (3-1-3, 12 points). This is the last of the two games that the teams will play over the course of 2022 NWSL regular season.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.
The Pride and Red Stars have played every season since NWSL first entry except 2020. The teams have played 14 games, with Pride going 4-10-1. All four wins came in Bridgeview, IL, with Pride having a 4-3-0 win record when playing for the Red Stars away from home.
The Pride and Red Stars last met on May 22 in Orlando. Sarah Griffin put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute before Bianca St. Georges and Mallory Pugh made it 3-0 Chicago. It looked like the Red Stars would run away with the match, but the last 10 minutes saw three goals and two penalties for a thrilling finale. Sydney Leroux missed a penalty, but Amy Turner scored the first Pride goal in the 83rd minute. Pugh converted his penalty in the 86th minute and Leah Pruitt scored her first goal for Pride a minute later, scoring a 4-2 Red Stars win.
The teams met three times during the 2021 season, but did not play until August 8 in Illinois. Jodie Taylor put Pride ahead in the 15th minute and Leroux doubled the lead just before half-time. The 2-0 win ended a six-game winning streak and was the first NWSL win for interim manager Becky Burleigh.
The second match was on October 13 in Bridgeview, a rescheduled match that was originally supposed to take place on October 2. Kealia Watt scored in the sixth minute, which the Red Stars defended for 84 minutes on the road for a 1-0 result. The teams met again on October 29 in Orlando in the final game of the regular season. The Red Stars controlled the game but Pride held off the Chicago attack for 65 minutes, at which point Watt scored the only goal in a 1-0 game.
The Pride and Red Stars did not play in the 2020 Fall Series, so the last match before 2021 came in 2019. The first match was on June 30 at the Exploria Stadium. Goals from Chioma Ubogagu and Marta were topped by a hat-trick from Sam Kerr when the Red Stars won 3-2. The second game was on August 21 in Bridgeview. Pride took a 2-0 lead with goals from Rachel Hill and Ubogagu after 61 minutes. Tierna Davidson cut the lead in half for Chicago, but it wasn’t enough as Pride won 2-1. The third meeting in 2021 took place on 11 September in Orlando. Casey Short stole the game for Chicago with the only goal of the game five minutes into second injury time when the Red Stars won 1-0.
The 2018 NWSL season saw Pride and Red Stars meet three times. On 2 May in Bridgeview, Hill and Ubogagu scored in the 28th and 81st minutes respectively, on their way to a 2-0 victory at Pride. They met in the same position on May 26 in a high-scoring relationship. A brace from Leroux was added to goals from Hill, Alex Morgan and Dani Weatherholt, when Pride won 5-2. They met for the third time in 2018 on August 25 in Orlando. The Red Stars were led by a brace from Kerr, resulting in a 3-1 win over Pride.
The Pride and Red Stars met three times in 2017, the first year they played so many games against each other. Christen Press scored the only goal on July 1 in Orlando when Chicago won 1-0. On 22 July in Bridgeview, Press led his team with a brace in a 2-1 win. The final match came a week later in Orlando. Morgan gave Pride a lead in the 24th minute, but Sofia Huerta equalized in the 53rd minute when the teams drew 1-1.
The two teams first met during the inaugural 2016 Pride season on May 1 in Bridgeview. Press’s goal in the 65th minute was the only goal when the Red Stars won 1-0. On July 16 in Orlando, Taylor Comeau scored the only goal when Chicago won 1-0 again.
Pride are coming out of their worst result of the year, losing 5-0 to Houston Dash last weekend. To make matters worse, the controversy hit the team during the week that manager Amanda Cromwell and assistant manager Sam Greene were placed on administrative leave as an investigation into potential violations of league policy to prevent and eliminate discrimination in the workplace, harassment and bullying.
Following the suspension and investigation, former Orlando City center-back Seb Hines will take control of the squad this weekend, accompanied by assistant Michelle Akers and goalkeeper coach Aline Villares Reis.
Pride enters this game after losing two of their last three games. The only point came against the Spirit of Washington on May 27, when a pair of second-time goals from Mikayla Cluff and Darian Jenkins brought the team back to a 2-2 draw.
The Red Stars enter this match over a series of five unbeaten matches, dating back to May 15th. After a couple of draws against the Portland Thorns and Spirit, came out with a 1-0 win OL United. The most recent game for the Red Stars was a goalless draw against Spirit in Bridgeview.
Chicago is led by US international Pugh, who has scored four goals in five games. Including his four goals during the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, Pugh has scored eight goals in 10 games this year. The Red Stars also have a strong defensive unit, led by goalkeeper star Alyssa Naeher. The back line has conceded six goals this year and recorded two goalless goals.
“We had a great session yesterday, making sure they were prepared for Sunday,” said Hines of Cromwell’s loss and the upcoming game. “Chicago are playing well but they are an even league. Anyone can beat anyone on his day. And my job is to make sure the players are prepared to play to the best of their ability on Sunday. “
Pride is missing more appetizers, and two others are questionable. In addition to Marta (SIX) and Caitlin Cosme (45 draws), Carrie Lawrence (ribs) and Leah Pruitt (right knee) are slated for tonight’s game. Mikayla Cluff (left foot) and Sydney Leroux (right ankle) are listed as questionable.
The Red Stars are also without several key players for this game, including Davidson (right knee), Morgan Gautrat (left calf), Casey Krueger (maternity leave), Watt (maternity leave), Sarah Woldmoe (maternity leave) and Arin Wright (right hip).
Orlando Pride (4-3-3)
Doorman: Erin McLeod.
Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Toni Pressley, Megan Montefusco, Celia.
Midfielders: Gunny Jonsdottir, Jordyn Listro, Viviana Villacorta.
Forwards: Kerry Abello, Abi Kim, Darian Jenkins.
Chicago Red Stars (3-4-3)
Doorman: Alyssa Naeher.
Defenders: Tatumn Milazzo, Kayla Sharples, Zoe Morse.
Midfielders: Rachel Hill, Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa Di Bernardo, Sarah Luebbert.
Forwards: Yuki Nagasato, Ella Stevens, Mallory Pugh.
REF: Alyssa Nichols.
AR1: Justin Howard.
AR2: Sarah Gaddes.
4th: Chana Forstall.
How to watch
Match time: 18:00
Place: SeatGeek Stadium – Bridgeview, IL.
Streaming: Paramount + (US), Twitch (international).
Enjoy the game. Go pride!