Thursday, November 30, 2023
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NWSL Decision Day Preview: OL Reign (8-8-5) at Chicago Red Stars (7-11-3)

SeatGeek Stadium | Bridgeview, Illinois – Sunday, October 15 at 5:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Against Kansas City, creator Yuki Nagasato notched her fifth goal contribution (3 goals, 2 assists) of the season in league play. It is her fourth season with at least five goal contributions for Chicago, tying for most such seasons in team history (along with Vanessa DiBernardo, Sofia Huerta, and Christen Press).

Reign goalkeeper Claudia Dickey has made at least five saves in each of OL Reign’s last three matches and has now made 20 saves total beginning with her first regular season start on August 27. Dickey’s average of 4.0 saves per game is third in NWSL this season among goalkeepers with at least five appearances, behind Houston’s Jane Campbell (4.10 sv/g) and Chicago’s Alyssa Naeher (4.05 sv/g).

Match facts: It has all come down to this… one final regular season weekend left, and four playoff positions up for grabs with all six NWSL matches kicking off at 5 PM ET on Paramount+ and other outlets. For most details on the league’s broadcast plan, check out where to view expanded coverage here.

The Chicago Red Stars have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for a couple of game weeks, but prior to their loss against Kansas City were on a good run of four games featuring two wins and two draws. Chicago are bottom of the table with 24 points from 21 games and only able to climb off with a win over OL Reign and loss for one or both of Houston and Kansas City.

Chicago is coming off a 6-3 loss to Kansas City in which the Red Stars became the second NWSL team to both score three goals and lose by three goals (Boston vs. Portland in 2014) in the same game. The six goals allowed were the most ever conceded by the Red Stars in NWSL play.

Meanwhile, the Reign are in a precarious position as they sit in 6th place and currently hold the final playoff position ahead of the weekend, but can secure their playoff spot with a win over Chicago. A draw could mean a number of things depending on how other matches shake out, but ultimately a point or loss would not guarantee them elimination nor guarantee postseason play.

OL Reign have played in consecutive draws in league play with the most recent being a scoreless tie with the Washington Spirit. The Reign have played in three consecutive draws in regular season play just once, doing so in three straight games in May 2022.

OL Reign also defeated Chicago by a heavy 5-2 margin when the teams met in April. The Reign’s five goals were the most scored by either team in any of the 28 all-time meetings between the pair in all competitions.

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