Welcome to your match thread as the Orlando Pride (2-3-2. 8 points) travel to Illinois to face the Chicago Red Stars (3-1-3, 12 points). This is the last of two games that the teams will play during the 2022 NWSL regular season.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s game.
The Pride and Red Stars have played every season since the former’s entrance into the NWSL except 2020. The teams have played 14 games, with the Pride going 4-10-1. All four wins have come in Bridgeview, IL, with the Pride having a winning record of 4-3-0 when playing the Red Stars away from home.
The Pride and Red Stars last met on May 22 in Orlando. Sarah Griffin gave the visitors the lead in the 11th minute before Bianca St. Georges and Mallory Pugh made it 3-0 Chicago. It appeared as though the Red Stars would run away with the game, but the final 10 minutes saw three goals and two penalties for an exciting finish. Sydney Leroux missed a penalty, but Amy Turner scored the Pride’s first goal in the 83rd minute. Pugh converted her penalty in the 86th minute and Leah Pruitt scored her first goal for the Pride a minute later, resulting in a 4-2 Red Stars win.
The teams met three times during the 2021 season, but didn’t play until Aug. 8 in Illinois. Jodie Taylor gave the Pride a 15th-minute lead and Leroux doubled the advantage just before the half. The 2-0 win ended a six-game winless streak and was the first NWSL win for interim head coach Becky Burleigh.
The second meeting was Oct. 13 in Bridgeview, a rescheduled game that was originally supposed to take place Oct. 2. Kealia Watt scored in the sixth minute, which the Red Stars defended for 84 minutes on their way to a 1-0 result. The teams met again Oct. 29 in Orlando in the final game of the regular season. The Red Stars controlled the game but the Pride held off the Chicago attack for 65 minutes, at which point Watt scored the lone goal in a 1-0 game.
The Pride and Red Stars didn’t play in the 2020 Fall Series, so the last meeting prior to 2021 came in 2019. The first game was June 30 at Exploria Stadium. Goals by Chioma Ubogagu and Marta were topped by a Sam Kerr hat trick as the Red Stars won 3-2. The second game was on Aug. 21 in Bridgeview. The Pride took a 2-0 lead with goals by Rachel Hill and Ubogagu after 61 minutes. Tierna Davidson cut the lead in half for Chicago, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride won 2-1. The third meeting in 2021 came on Sept. 11 in Orlando. Casey Short stole the game for Chicago with the game’s lone goal five minutes into second-half injury time as the Red Stars won, 1-0.
The 2018 NWSL season saw the Pride and Red Stars meet three times. On May 2 in Bridgeview, Hill and Ubogagu scored in the 28th and 81st minute, respectively, on the way to a 2-0 Pride win. They met in the same location May 26 in a high-scoring affair. A Leroux brace was added to goals by Hill, Alex Morgan, and Dani Weatherholt, as the Pride won 5-2. They met a third time in 2018 on Aug. 25 in Orlando. The Red Stars were led by a Kerr brace, resulting in a 3-1 victory over the Pride.
The Pride and Red Stars met three times in 2017 — the first year that they played that many games against each other. Christen Press scored the lone goal on July 1 in Orlando as Chicago won 1-0. On July 22 in Bridgeview, Press led her team with a brace in a 2-1 win. The final meeting came a week later in Orlando. Morgan gave the Pride a 24th-minute lead, but Sofia Huerta equalized in the 53rd minute as the teams drew 1-1.
The two teams met for the first time during the Pride’s inaugural season in 2016 on May 1 in Bridgeview. Press’ goal in the 65th minute was the only goal as the Red Stars won 1-0. On July 16 in Orlando, Taylor Comeau scored the lone goal as Chicago again won 1-0.
The Pride are coming off their worst result of the year, losing 5-0 to the Houston Dash last weekend. Making matters worse, controversy hit the team during the week when Head Coach Amanda Cromwell and Assistant Coach Sam Greene were placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place regarding potential violations of the league’s policy to prevent and eliminate workplace discrimation, harassment, and bullying.
As a result of the suspension and investigation, former Orlando City center back Seb Hines will take control of the team this weekend, accompanied by assistant Michelle Akers and goalkeeping coach Aline Villares Reis.
The Pride come into this game having lost two of their last three games. The lone point came against the Washington Spirit on May 27, in which a pair of second-half injury time goals by Mikayla Cluff and Darian Jenkins brought the team back to claim a 2-2 draw.
The Red Stars come into this game on a five-game undefeated run, dating back to May 15. After a pair of draws against the Portland Thorns and Spirit, they came away with a 1-0 win over OL Reign. The most recent game for the Red Stars was a scoreless draw against the Spirit in Bridgeview.
Chicago is led by U.S. international Pugh, who has scored four goals in five games. Including her four goals during the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, Pugh has eight goals in 10 games this year. The Red Stars also have a strong defensive unit, led by star goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The back line has conceded six goals this year and has recorded two clean sheets.
“We had a great session yesterday, making sure they’re prepared for Sunday,” Hines said about the loss of Cromwell and the upcoming game. “Chicago are playing well but it’s an even league. Anyone can beat anyone on their day. And my job is to make sure that the players are prepared to play to the best of their ability Sunday.”
The Pride are missing multiple starters and two more are questionable. In addition to Marta (SEI) and Caitlin Cosme (D45), Carrie Lawrence (ribs) and Leah Pruitt (right knee) are listed as out for tonight’s game. Mikayla Cluff (left foot) and Sydney Leroux (right ankle) are listed as questionable.
The Red Stars are also without several key players for this game, including Davidson (right knee), Morgan Gautrat (left calf), Casey Krueger (maternity leave), Watt (maternity leave), Sarah Woldmoe (maternity leave), and Arin Wright (right hip).
Orlando Pride (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Erin McLeod.
Defenders: Courtney Petersen, Toni Pressley, Megan Montefusco, Kylie Strom.
Defensive Midfielders: Gunny Jonsdottir, Viviana Villacorta
Midfielders: Angharad James, Julie Doyle, Abi Kim.
Forwards: Darian Jenkins.
Bench: Anna Moorhouse, Celia, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Parker Roberts, Thais Reiss, Chelsee Washington, Jordyn Listro, Kerry Abello, Erika Tymrak.
Chicago Red Stars (3-5-2)
Goalkeeper: Alyssa Naeher.
Defenders: Tatumn Milazzo, Kayla Sharples, Zoe Morse.
Midfielders: Vanessa DiBernardo, Sarah Griffith, Mallory Pugh, Yuki Nagasato, Bianca St. Georges.
Forwards: Chelsie Dawber, Sarah Luebbert.
Bench: Jill Aguilera, Emily Boyd, Danielle Colaprico, Ava Cook, Samantha Fisher, Rachel Hill, Amanda Kowalski, Alyssa Mautz, Ella Stevens.
REF: Alyssa Nichols.
AR1: Justin Howard.
AR2: Sarah Gaddes.
4TH: Chana Forstall.
How to Watch
Match Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: SeatGeek Stadium — Bridgeview, IL.
Streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.), Twitch (International).
Enjoy the match. Go Pride!