A sloppy 1-1 draw in Chicago saw the Red Stars and Seattle Reign FC split the points in their first ever NWSL game. Both goals were scored in a Seattle-dominated first half which saw the visitors take the lead through a Christine Nairn header before Lori Calupny equalised 14 minutes later, forcing a futile second-half battle in which neither team could find the net.
Both sides were sloppy in the first half, resulting in a pair of yellow cards. Seattle made a habit of sending weak short passes to goalkeeper Michelle Betos while a Chicago player was on their heels, putting her under repeated, needly pressure. Chicago's defense, meanwhile, could not find a rhythm. This allowed Seattle to push down the wings and create crosses into the box. Chicago couldn't produce many successful passes as a Reign player would be on hand to intercept it, leaving Seattle as the best of the worst in the first half.
In the 11th minute a poor clearance by Rachel Quon allowed Seattle's Liz Bogus to send in a cross, finding Christine Nairn for a header and the opening goal. Quon had tracked a lobbed ball from Kaylyn Kyle but as the ball fell to her feet she could only place a slight touch in an attempt to kick it clear of the Red Stars half. The kick was too soft and landed neatly at the tip of Bogus' feet, who took full advantage of the situation in delivering the ball for Nairn.
Frustrated with the amount of possession Seattle was gaining, the fierce Chicago midfielder Leslie Osborne caught both of Kyle's legs, sending her to the ground and earning Osborne a booking. The events leading up to this moment were promising as Chicago found themselves in the box but Seattle cleared the ball to Kyle resulting in Osborne's tackle.
Chicago's break came in the 25th minute as a header from Ella Masar was picked up by Lori Calupny, who sent a quick chip past Betos and into the back of the net. Chicago couldn't celebrate their equalizer for long before they were put under pressure again -- Seattle earned a free kick just outside the box that sailed into a crowd of Reign players, but a miscommunication resulted in the chance disappearing. Seattle grew frustrated as they couldn't find an opening to break the deadlock, frustrations which showed in Jessica Fishlock charging Chalupny from behind. Chalupny was knocked over, and Fishlock was booked.
Shannon Boxx entered the field at the start of the second half, only to commit a nasty foul on Fishlock less than two minutes in. A free kick was awarded to the Reign but it came up short in the box allowing McLeod to comfortably hold onto the ball. Boxx's presence on the field imparted a different attacking style, which resulted in Chicago gaining more possession of the ball and more plays moving up the field and threatening Seattle's leveled game.
Chicago's attacking display meant little in the end -- they were thwarted by yet another stellar performance from a goalkeeper in week one of NWSL as Michelle Betos outshone her team members, making a dozen spectacular saves.Her superb form contributed heavily to the 1-1 draw as the teams played out the second half without finding the net again.