The referee blows the whistle and the game ends: Washington Spirit 1, Chicago Red Stars 1. Thank you for following along with me for this exciting match. It was definitely a physical contest.
90+2' Hatch s fouled in the attacking third. Pugh to take the free kick.
90+1' Sam Kerr gets booked for a tactical foul. She is continuing to yell at the ref.
There will be two minutes of stoppage time
90' Ertz commits a foul in the pouring rain.
86' Chicago Substitution: Vasconcelas in,
85' Ertz foulds Lohman
84' Nagasato got a delayed yellow card from the challenge that injured Johnson. Johnson has reentered the game.
83' Washington Substitution: Lohman in, Huster out
83' Estelle Johnson gets injured by Nagasato.
81' Julie Ertz gets her head on a corner kick, but it goes wide off of a Spirit player. The second corner is grabbed out of the air by Bledsoe.
77' Washington Substitution: Solaun in, Ordega out
71' Chicago Substitution: Ertz in; Stanton out
70' Sam Kerr takes a low shot, but Bledsoe is up to the challenge.
66' The game has really opened up. It feels like we're sprinting up and down the pitch.
62' Chicago Substitution: Vasconcelas in, Mautz out
56' Mautz gets the first booking of the evening.
56' Sam Kerr tries to chip Bledsoe from distance, but she misses wide.
55' Another foul against the Red Stars.
52' Mautz fouls Hatch just on the Spirit side of midfield.
46' Washington in control as the whistle blows the beginning of the second half.
Halftime comes with the teams knotted a one apiece.
45+3' Hatch is fouled, and Jim Gaberra is going off on the fourth official about the last of yellows shown to the Red Stars.
45+1' Huerta takes a shot, but it is blocked by Smith.
Three minutes of stoppage time.
44' Pugh screams down the pitch and takes a shot that Naeher saves.
42' It may have been a goal, but if it wasn't then that was one of best saves of Bledsoe's career. She is bloodied from the dive and gets cleaned up.
39' Ordega is in an offside position, killing a good Washington attack.
36' Colaprico fouls Taylor Smith, who stays down for a while.
35' Mautz is slow to get up after a challenge.
33' A pair of corner kicks by Mallory Pugh, but nothing to show for it in the end.
27' Hatch fouls Huerta near the box, and the free kick nearly earns Chicago a goal.
26' Tori Huster gets a talking to for a foul on Nagasato.
21' Huerta crosses the ball in to Mautz, but she can't quite redirect it on frame.
Washintgon Spirit 1 - 1 Chicago Red Stars
20' Chicago GOOOOAAALLLLL! Aubrey Bledsoe came out and blocked a cross, but the ball comes out to Mautz who kits an easy shot against an open net.
19' Washington gets an offside call.
So far the Red Stars are having trouble possessing the ball in the Washington half of the field.
Washington Spirit 1 - 0 Chicago Red Stars
4' GOOOAAALLLL Washington Spirit! Mallory Pugh sends a low ball through the box and Francisca Ordega puts the ball in the back of the net.
0' The opening whistle sounds and we're underway!
We're about to get underway in the match. Let's see whether the Spirit can control their home field or if Chicago will continue their strong start to the season.
Take a look at the starting lineups! Welcome back to the NWSL Sam Kerr!
Welcome back to VAVEL USA's live coverage of the Washington Spirit (1W-1D-2L; 4 points) as they host the Chicago Red Stars (2W-2D-1L; 8 points). The Red Stars currently sit in second place in the standings, but they are 8 points back of the first-place North Carolina Courage after they beat the Houston Dash earlier in the day. We are anxiously awaiting the starting lineups for the teams.
Check back tomorrow for lineups, field conditions and live updates from the match!
The outcome of this match will hinge on whether the Spirit are capable of slowing down the Red Star attack. Conventional wisdom suggests that Chicago would have the upper hand in this match based on the performance of both teams this season, but it is always difficult to go on the road in the NWSL. Washington will need to make sure that they keep Sam Kerr in front of them while closing down on shots from Huerta and Colaprico, both of whom are apt at hitting powerful shots from distance. The Red Stars will have to keep the pace of Pugh and Hatch in check, but with only two major offensive threats to focus on they have an easier task than the Washington defense.
The Red Stars are hoping to get their two strongest attacking pieces back for the match on Saturday. Sam Kerr is back from her time with the Westfield Matildas as the team qualified for the 2019 Women's World Cup, and Julie Ertz is no longer listed on the injury report. After so much time away from the field it would be surprising to see her start the match. For the Spirit, midfielder Rose Lavelle is getting close to returning, but she is still out with a hamstring injury. The Spirit will get Estefania Banini (Argentina) and Yanara Aedo (Chile) back from international duty with their respective countries. Vanessa DiBernardo, Stephanie McCaffrey, and Casey Short will be unavailable for Chicago.
The Chicago Red Stars have come out surprisingly hot despite missing Australian superstar Sam Kerr and USWNT midfielder Julie Ertz and defender Casey Short. The Red Stars have a record of 2W-2D-1L through five matches and sit in second place. The absence of Kerr and Ertz has opened up the field for Sofia Huerta (two goals, two assists) and Danielle Colaprico (one goal, two assists) to show they stuff as the central attacking pieces for the team. The Red Stars have scored eight goals as a team while allowing five against. Neither statistic quite matches the number put up by the league-leading North Carolina Courage (nine goals and four against), but it bodes well for Chicago that they have been so capable while missing important players.
The Washington Spirit have had a mediocre start to the 2018 season. The currently sit at fifth place in the NWSL standings after four games with a record of 1W-1D-2L. The Spirit are still working through some growing pains after the major upheaval following the 2016 season which led to them finishing in last place in 2017. Offseason additions of Andi Sullivan, Rose Lavelle, Taylor Smith, Ashley Hatch and Aubrey Bledsoe were designed to put United States National Women's Team forward Mallory Pugh in the middle of a vastly improved team, but so far the chemistry hasn't been quite there. The defense has been a particularly weak point for the team, allowing seven goals in four matches. The Spirit earned a point on the road in Portland last weekend when they secured a tough draw against Portland Thorns FC.
Washington Spirit vs Chicago Red Stars live stream commentary
Welcome to VAVEL USA’s LIVE coverage of the 2018 NWSL Regular Season match between the Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars. My name is Aaron Bellamy and I’ll be your host for this game from Maureen Hick's Field in Boyds' Maryland. We will provide you with pre-game analysis, roster updates, and news as it happens here on VAVEL. This game will be broadcasted on Go90.com or the Go90 app.