Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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NWSL Match Preview: Orlando Pride (3-4-1) at Chicago Red Stars (1-6-1)

SeatGeek Stadium | Bridgeview, Illinois – Saturday, May 27 at 8:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher has been plenty active for her side in 2023, currently sitting second in the league in saves (32) behind Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund. However, Naeher’s 2.75 GAA is tied for the highest in the league alongside Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch, but Franch has played half the games (4) that Naeher has with Chicago allowing 22 goals in 8 games compared to Kansas City’s 11 allowed in Franch’s 4 games played. Chicago’s 22 goals allowed are three more than any other team at this stage of a season in NWSL history, too. The Red Stars have conceded at least three goals four times already, having done so more in a full regular season only once (6 in 2013).

Orlando attacker Adriana recorded a team-high four chances created in Orlando’s win over Washington on Saturday and now has 21 chances created on the season, the most in NWSL. Of those 21, nine have been off corners, also the most chances created off corners in the league this year. However, forward Messiah Brightleads the team in scoring with two goals, with five other goalscorers—including Adriana—sitting behind her with one each.

Match facts: The Chicago Red Stars look to turn things around on Saturday night when they host the Orlando Pride at SeatGeek Stadium, with Chicago looking to get off the bottom of the table with a good result while the Pride aim to continue their recent climb in the league. Chicago currently sits in 12th place with 4 points (W1 D1 L6) while Orlando sits in 8th place with 10 points (W3 D1 L4).

The Red Stars are off to the worst start in club history, collecting just those four points from eight games, half of the previous record low of eight (2013, 2021). In addition, Chicago has now suffered four straight defeats in all competitions for the first time in club history. In their three game losing streak, the Red Stars have scored just one goal, getting shut out against Portland and Louisville in successive road matches. At home this year, Chicago has won one, drawn one, and lost two.

Orlando is unbeaten in four straight league matches, winning three of them (D1), after opening the season with four straight defeats. A complete turnaround, the Pride have allowed only two goals over that four game stretch, the fewest they’ve allowed over a four-match span in five years, since April-May 2018. Part of that is due to the play of goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse, who clears the league in saves per game played (5.13) ahead of Louisville goalkeeper Katie Lund (4.38).

The Red Stars have won four straight meetings with Orlando, including winning both matches last season. Chicago has recorded a five-match regular season winning streak against a single opponent only once in team history, doing so against the Boston Breakers from 2013-15.

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