For the Chicago Red Stars, it was a good start to their opening game but a poor finish against the Houston Dash. They started off fantastically as Christen Press scored off a defensive error from the Dash just 13 minutes in the game. It was the perfect start to the game as they were able to score quickly on put pressure on Houston.
Chicago gives up a flurry of goals again
But the Dash equalized before halftime and scored twice in 11 minutes after the second half kickoff to extend the lead to 3-1 and took all three points from the game. It was a tough game to lose for Chicago after such a good start with the Press goal. A road win would have been a great way to kick off the season but sadly for Chicago, defensive errors troubled them again.
The flurry of goals from Houston brought back memories of the semi-final game against Kansas City FC when Chicago was beaten 4-0 at home. The memory of the game still hangs around the club and the opening game didn’t help push any of those memories away. A home win against the Western New York Flash could help erase the disappointment of last week.
Western New York looks to keep the momentum
Western New York opened up their 2016 season with a 1-0 win over Kansas City and sit 4th in what is a very young NWSL season. The game was tightly contested but the Flash were able to take lead via a Samantha Mewis penalty in the 71st minute and never looked back. After finishing 7th in the table last year, a win is certainly a good start but they will look to make it two wins in a row.
The key to the game will the defense of both teams. Chicago’s offense flexed it’s muscled with Press up top and creating chances throughout the game. The same couldn’t be said about the defense. The positive for Chicago was that Alyssa Naeher had a solid opening game and looked comfortable in goal despite letting three in against Houston. Also, the defensive errors will be fixed via practice or just simply playing better. There are some newer players in the squad and they still have to adjust.
For Western New York they did a good job keeping KC’s high attack in check as they recorded a shutout and survived a last minute shot by Heather O’Reilly that hit the post. They will have to deal with another good striker in Press and have to make sure that they don’t give her too much space because she can hit a shot from anywhere on the pitch. They were able to control O'Reilly for the most part and will hope to do the same thing to Press. It will be a tough task but the Flash are talented enough to do so.
Both teams are coming into this game on opposite spectrums in terms of winning as Chicago looks for their first win of the season at Toyota Park.