The Chicago Red Stars improve every week. Unfortunately, this season has delivered less than desirable results for Chicago, who have yet to win a match going into the fifth week of play (0-2-2). Week 3 marked the first time Chicago and Portland met, with the Thorns getting the better of Chicago's back line, netting two goals.
The Red Stars have potential to make it into the top four but they need to fix their back line before any positive results can be obtained. Chicago threatened to take the lead early on against Sky Blue, but couldn't take advantage of their early chances. If the Red Stars can build off the momentum of a solid performance, they might be able to keep Portland's attack at by while scoring themselves.
Unfortunately for Chicago, Portland's defense will be led by a talented center back, Rachel Buehler. Last week when Portland faced Washington it was Buehler who stepped up for the back line to shut down great attempts made by Caroline Miller and Stephanie Ochs.
The Chicago defense will have their hands full dealing with attackers Alex Morgan, Nikki Washington and Allie Long. This trifecta is effective and produce results for their team. Last week saw Washington net her first goal in the competition of an impressive strike 20 yards outside the Spirit net. To keep them from getting on the ball, Chicago will need their midfielders Lori Chalupny, Leslie Osborne and Alyssa Mautz to control the center of the pitch and push Portland wide.
Chicago Red Stars Injuries
OUT: Shannon Boxx IN DOUBT: Taryn Hemmings
Portland Thorns FC Injuries
OUT: Emilee O'Neil
Match Date/Time: Sunday May 12 2013, 5:00 pm
Venue: Benedictine University Sports Complex Stadium
Online: NWSL Soccer YouTube Channel