Is the glass half full or half empty for the Sky Blue FC tonight?
The New Jersey-based team is on the road against Chicago Red Stars, looking to get back to its winning ways. But it will do it without any of its allocated national team members from the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico.
On the other hand, Chicago is only playing its third match of the season, meaning it will have its national team players on hand including National Womens' Soccer League (NWSL) Player of the Month Christen Press, Lori Calupny, Shannon Boxx and Julie Johsnton from the USWNT as well as Canadian goalkeeper Karina LaBlanc.
On top of that, the Red Stars are undefeated with a win and a draw while Sky Blue FC is nursing a two-game winless streak.
An obstacle or an opportunity? Both according to head coach Jim Gabarra.
"This is a huge challenge as well as a huge opportunity for our group," said Gabarra, Sky Blue FC head coach and technical director. "We are taking on a top quality club that also has its full roster. I expect a very good showing from our team, and we are going to do everything we can to leave Chicago with a result."
Already off to UNWNT camp are Sky Blue veterans Kelley O'Hara and team captain Christie Rampone. Caitlin Foord (Australia), Samantha Kerr (Australia), Jonelle Filigno (Canada) and Monica Ocampo (Mexico) have been with their national team camps all spring and have not seen the field for Sky Blue FC.
To get that result, the Sky Blue FC will need some more offense. Scoring only one goal a game - as has been the case thus far - is not going to get it done. Katy Freels (two goals) and Danish international Nadia Nadim (one goal, one assist) have been the major scoring threats.
Press is the big threat with a league-leading four goals. Team captain Chalupny is the midfield engine on the squad.
In Chicago, Sky Blue FC begins a tough stretch that included three of four games on the road.