Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
September 4, 2018
7:30 p.m. ET
Sky Blue FC (0-16-6, 6 points) returns to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Tuesday night, traveling to Chicago to take on the Red Stars (8-4-10, 34 points) in the New Jersey club’s second to last match of the season. This game was originally scheduled for July 28, but was postponed when Sky Blue FC’s flight to Chicago was canceled, and the team could not arrive in time to prepare for the game.
The Chicago Red Stars can secure a spot in the 2018 NWSL Playoffs with a win or draw against Sky Blue FC on Tuesday night. A draw would automatically clinch the No. 4 seed, but a win would keep them in the running for the No. 3 seed. A loss would mean they play fifth-place Utah Royals FC on Saturday afternoon with the final playoff spot on the line.
Sky Blue FC will come into this match-up on short rest, playing its second game in three days. Lightning on Saturday night forced the New Jersey side’s road game against the Washington Spirit to be played at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning. After going down 1-0 in the 71st minute, Sarah Killion scored the equalizer in the 87th minute to help her team earn in a 1-1 draw. Sky Blue FC are still in search of its first win of the season with two games to play.
The Red Stars are on a six-game unbeaten streak. In Chicago’s last contest, the Red Stars defeated Orlando 3-1, and in the process eliminated both the Pride and the Houston Dash from playoff contention. Forward Sam Kerr scored a brace in the match, increasing her goal total to 14 this season. She is currently in the lead for the 2018 NWSL Golden Boot.
The last time these two teams faced off was on July 7th at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey. Kerr scored a hat trick to lift her team to a 3-1 win. Imani Dorsey scored the lone tally for Sky Blue FC to avoid being shut out. Post-game comments from Kerr also sparked reporters to take a closer look into the conditions Sky Blue FC players endure during the season.
Both clubs will be without some key players due to call-ups from their respected national teams. Sky Blue FC’s Imani Dorsey (U.S. U-23), Katie Johnson (Mexico), Carli Lloyd (United States) and Savannah McCaskill (U.S. U-23) are out with international duty. For the Red Stars, Morgan Brian (USA), Julie Ertz (USA), Summer Green (US U-23), Christina Murillo (MEX), Alyssa Naeher (USA) and Casey Short (USA) are all on international duty as well.
Chicago Red Stars
OUT: Stephanie McCaffrey (illness)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Morgan Brian (USA), Julie Ertz (USA), Summer Green (US U-23), Christina Murillo (MEX), Alyssa Naeher (USA), Casey Short (USA)
Sky Blue FC
QUESTIONABLE: McKenzie Meehan (right hamstring strain), Rebekah Stott (lower back strain)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Imani Dorsey (USA U-23), Katie Johnson (MEX), Carli Lloyd (USA), Savannah McCaskill (USA U-23)