April 21, 2017 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Chicago Red Stars
CHICAGO - The Chicago Red Stars are set to host the "Battle of the Midwest" in the home opener against FC Kansas City at Toyota Park on Saturday, April 22, at 3 p.m. CT.
Returning for the second full year at Toyota Park, the Red Stars officially have a full-time home at the stadium with all practices taking place at the state-of-the-art facility in Bridgeview, Illinois.
"Playing at Toyota Park is such a blessing," said midfielder Danielle Colaprico. "Having the opportunity to play in front of our fans and return to that atmosphere is something the entire team is looking forward to."
In last week's season opener in Houston, Chicago dropped to the Dash 2-0 after goals from Kaelia Ohai and Rachel Daly. Chicago took a total of 19 shots, 13 on goal, but was unable to find the back of the net in the match-up.
"We still have a lot of work to do," said midfielder Alyssa Mautz after the season opener. "It'll be another hard team to play, but the desire and hard work is there and we are looking for all the pieces to fall together in this match."
One of three teams to score two goals in week one of NWSL play, FC Kansas City defeated Boston 2-0 last Sunday, beginning their season on a high note. After being away on maternity leave for the 2016 season, forwards Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez each scored a goal to give Kansas City a win in front of their home crowd.
As the Blues travel to Toyota Park, the visiting side will be without Rodriguez after she left Sunday's game with a knee injury, which was later reported to be a torn ACL. Rodriguez led the team with three of the seven shots on goal in the season opener.
Without Rodriguez, Chicago's strong defensive unit led by Julie Ertz and Alyssa Naeher, will still see plenty of action with the Kansas City attacking threats of Leroux and Shea Groom, who finished as Kansas City's top scorer in 2016, including a brace in her last trip to Toyota Park.
Leading the Chicago attack will be captain Christen Press, Jen Hoy and Stephanie McCaffrey, who will look to break through a solid backline in Becky Sauerbrunn and Nicole Barnhart. The dynamic duo of Press and Sofia Huerta, who each scored in three-straight games last season, will look for their first goal in 2017.
The Red Stars are eager to get back on track after the early season loss, just as they did last year, going on a three-game win streak after falling in the season opener.
"We look forward to pulling out a win," said Colaprico. "It will be even better to get it in front of our home fans at Toyota Park and perform for them."
Tickets for the Red Stars home opener against Kansas City are available here (http://bit.ly/CHIvKC17) or by calling 773-697-8699. Fans that can't attend can watch live on the go90 app or at NWSLsoccer.com.
Chicago Red Stars, founded in 2007, are one of ten professional teams in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and one of the longest tenured clubs in North American women's soccer. The back-to-back NWSL Playoff club boasts some of the most elite players in the world, including stars from the 2015 Women's World Cup Championship team. For more information on the Red Stars and to purchase tickets, please visit the team's official website. www.chicagoredstars.com (http://www.chicagoredstars.com/)