This weekend, the Pride will return home to face off against the Chicago Red Stars. While Chicago currently sits in the No. 2 slot in the NWSL, they are coming off a midweek loss to the Seattle Reign in a difficult stretch of road games. Meanwhile, the Pride will look for another win at home as they seek to continue building up their momentum after a thrilling 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC on the road on Wednesday. Here is a breakdown of the Orlando Pride’s next opponent:
The Chicago Red Stars lost their midweek match against the Seattle Reign, breaking their seven game unbeaten streak. The final result was 2-1 with two second-half penalty kicks from Megan Rapinoe bringing the Red Stars down. Overall, they are 3-1-1 in their last five matches.
Christen Press is having a great start to her NWSL season. The U.S Women’s National Team striker has four goals and two assists so far this season, and has proven difficult for defenders to contain. In addition, the Red Stars have Sofia Huerta-- who has two goals and three assists on the season-- is unstoppable when she works with Press in the attack. Chicago also has one of the strongest defenses in the league, lead by U.S Women’s National Team defender Julie Ertz and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
This Chicago Red Stars team doesn’t have many weak spots. Their loss in Seattle was their first defeat since April, and the team sits in the No. 2 slot in the league-- just four points behind the North Carolina Courage. But two fouls in the box led to two goals for the Reign, and the Red Stars will definitely have to keep their game tighter to shut down the Orlando Pride attack.
The Pride faced the Red Stars twice last season and lost 1-0 in both meetings. The Pride will be looking to change that narrative when the two teams meet for their first match of the 2017 season.