It was another game and another draw for the Chicago Red Stars last week. This time, the deadlock came against the Portland Thorns FC, who came in with an unbeaten streak of their own. Both Chicago and Portland extended their unbeaten streaks but neither was able to find the winning goal that would lead to 3 points. It was a pair of weird goals on either for both sides that led to the two goals being scored in the game. Although the Red Stars were frustrated with their third draw in four games, the draw helped them keep their spot at the top of the NWSL table.
Chicago is on top of the league
Right now, the Red Stars find themselves second in the table, two points behind the Thorns. But Chicago has a game in hand over Portland and will look to keep their spot at the top with a win against the Boston Breakers.
This will be the Olympic Send-Off game for Chicago and their three USWNT players. Christen Press, Julie Johnston, and Alyssa Naeher are all going to miss time with the Red Stars as they represent the USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. It will be very tough for Chicago to replace their production but the Red Stars have been in this situation before.
Last year when the stars were off in Canada at the Women's World Cup, Chicago maintained a position at the top of the league despite missing both Press and Johnson (Naeher was still keeping for the Boston Breakers). Much of the scoring output was due to Sofia Huerta, who had a great rookie campaign. Along with fellow rookie Danielle Colaprico (who won Rookie of the Year last year), Huerta scored 6 goals in her 15 starts for the club. It was truly impressive to see that type of production from a rookie.
This year, Huerta has seemed to hit a wall and has been struggling to score. She got off on the right foot against Sky Blue FC two games ago, a game in which she scored her first goal of the season. Much of that could be due to Press scoring a lot of goals up top at the striker position. They work well as a duo but Huerta's numbers really flourished when Press was out on national team duty. Huerta will be hoping for a repeat performance like the one she had last year.
Boston is at the opposite end of the table
It has been another tough year for the Boston Breakers. They currently sit dead last in the NWSL with four points earned this season. They picked up their first points when they beat FC Kansas City and then proceeded to pick up a draw against the Washington Spirit in their last fixture. Things have looked up for the cellar team who are two points away from 9th place Kansas City.
Boston recently made a deal: They traded midfielder McCall Zerboni to the Western New York Flash in exchange for a second-round pick in next year's draft. This was clearly a cap saving move and will open up space for Boston in the upcoming international transfer window and the off-season. Maybe it's a sign that Boston is already looking towards next season and rebuilding.