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Chicago Hosts Sky Blue FC in First Duel of 2018

April 20, 2018 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Chicago Red Stars News Release

CHICAGO - The Red Stars look to host their second game in three days as they take on Sky Blue FC on Saturday, April 21. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. CT at Toyota Park and will be broadcast live on NWSL app and the go90 app.

The Red Stars are coming off their biggest win of the season so far after taking down Houston Dash 3-0 at home. The first goal came off an own goal by Houston's Kristie Mewis, deflecting a sliding ball into the net in the seventh minute. Minutes later, second-year Lauren Kaskie tallied her first goal of her career off a rebound from close range. Sofia Huerta finished the game with her first goal of the season off a header soaring over the goalkeeper's outstretched hand.

Currently in the standings, Chicago is in second place with seven points, five points behind front runners, North Carolina Courage. The Red Stars will face last-place Sky Blue in this weekend's match up.

Sky Blue FC has yet to earn a point this season, being the only team to have played just two matches.

Drawing the first Bye week on opening weekend, Sky Blue traveled to North Carolina to take on the Courage for their first game in 2018 on March 31. Sky Blue nearly held off the 2017 Runner-ups, but North Carolina's Jess McDonald got the go-ahead goal in second half stoppage time for the 1-0 win.

The following weekend, Sky Blue hosted Seattle Reign FC, and it was only a sixth minute penalty kick from Megan Rapinoe that earned the 1-0 Reign victory.

Despite finishing in sixth last season, Sky Blue has gone through quite a few changes, both on and off the field. Leading the heavily new team is Denise Reddy, former Chicago Red Stars (2008-10) and Washington Spirit (2016-17) assistant coach.

During the three-team blockbuster trade on the day of the 2018 NWSL College Draft, New Jersey lost 2017 NWSL MVP and Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr and midfielder Nikki Stanton, both going to Chicago. However, Sky Blue picked up New Jersey native and U.S. WNT captain Carli Lloyd and Canadian international Janine Beckie from Houston, and forward Jen Hoy from Chicago.

Just before season started, WNT defender Kelley O'Hara left the club and joined the newest established team, Utah Royals FC, in return for star forward Shea Groom and defender Christina Gibbons. During the offseason, Sky Blue picked up Rebekah Stott from Seattle and this year's number one college draft pick, Savannah McCaskill, from the Dispersal Draft.

Chicago will be back on the road on Saturday, April 28, when the Red Stars head to Washington to take on the Spirit in their first contest of the season. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on the NWSL app and the go90 app.

2017 SERIES HISTORY: June 25 - Win @ Home; 2-1 (Tiernan 3'/DiBernardo 63'/Huerta 67') July 15 - Draw @ New Jersey; 2-2 (Huerta 4'/Press 26'/Hayes 32'/Kerr 90')

International Call-ups: Australia Forward Sam Kerr was called up to the Australian National Team for the 2018 Asian Cup. After the first stage, Australia placed first in the group, drawing South Korea (0-0), defeating Vietnam (0-8) and drawing Japan (1-1). Kerr tallied a brace against Vietnam and the equalizer against Japan. After topping the group, Australia has qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. Kerr notched the game-winning kick in the penalty shootout against Thailand to send Australia to the Finals against Japan.

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National Women's Soccer League Stories from April 20, 2018


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