BRIDGEVIEW, IL–Playing without three of its National Team players wasn’t suppose to make much of a difference to the Chicago Red Stars, but in some ways it did with younger players stepping in their roles.
Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press, and Julie Johnston all missed the match on Sunday for National Team practice ahead of a couple of games against Japan coming up in the next week.
Still, the Chicago Red Stars had a good result over visiting Sky Blue FC, 1-1, at Toyota Park in front of 2,502 in attendance on Sunday night.
“We were poor in the game,” said Chicago Red Stars coach Rory Dames afterward with its team at 4-1-2, 14 points and still leading the NWSL. “We couldn’t build at all, we were way too direct and our speed of play was way too slow. We were second best on the first balls and second balls, we couldn’t keep them where we wanted them. You can pick any area. The only place we were better than (Sky Blue FC) was on quality chances. From a point standpoint we deserved to win, but from the points we were second best in the game.”
There wasn’t much excuses with the level of play by the Red Stars at least in front of their head coach Rory Dames without their key players.
“The biggest difference is the standard of play when their here to when their not here,” Dames said “We would’ve played a lot quicker out of the back with Julie (Johnston). We were way too slow with Katie (Naughton) and Sam (Johnson). Michelle (Dalton) put us in play and put us in bad spots a few times that she shouldn’t of. All the players in the midfield are the same and that’s not an excuse there. These guys need to perform at a much better level when it comes to the Olympics. If there’s a bright spot in the game, it was the worst performance of the year and we took a point out of it. It gave us a little grit and a little credit to them. But this will leave a little bit of a mark.”
Sofia Huerta managed to score the only Chicago goal in the 34th minute of play. She had taken a service form Danielle Colaprico. Then, she made a move beating a defender and Sky Blue FC keeper Caroline Stanley.
“(Colaprico) played me through,” Huerta said. “It was a great pass and I had to beat the goalie and score. It was a really a great pass from Dani and a great team build up.”
There was a couple of other times that Huerta found herself breaking free or finding moves of getting past the Sky Blue defense. However, her chances were on goal or missing just off the post on a couple of occasions.
Sky Blue FC (2-3-2, 8 points) on the road found its opportunity tying the game in the 70th minute of play. Tayor Lytle sent a cross through the middle of the penalty area. It found its way past a couple of Red Stars defender right to an unmarked Leah Galton. She was set up near the back post, collected the ball and found the back of the net.
“Coming to Chicago isn’t easy,” Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly said. “(Chicago) was a very disciplined team for a reason. Rory (Dames) has them drilled, they know their roles and their responsibility. So, getting anything out of them was the best of times.”
Chicago Red Stars will take a week off and return back to NWSL league play hosting the Portland Thorns on Sunday, June 12 at 5pm.
CHI-Sofia Huerta (Danielle Colaprico) 34
NJ-Leah Galton (Tayor Lytle) 70
NJ-Leah Galton (yellow card, reckless foul) 57′
CHICAGO RED STARS (4-3-3): #18-Michelle Dalton; #3-Arin Gilliand, #5-Katie Naughton, #16-Samantha Johnson, #6-Casey Short; #24-Danielle Colaprico (#15-Courtney Raetzman 88), #4-Alyssa Mautz (#12-Cara Walls 72), #10-Vanessa DiBernardo (C); #13-Amanda Da Costa (#7-Taylor Comeau 61), #2-Jen Hoy, #11-Sophia Huerta
Subs not used: #14-Sarah Gorden, #20-Jannelle Flaws, #33-Bri Smallidge, #34-Mary Luba.
SKY BLUE FC (4-4-3): #18-Caroline Stanley, #2-Shawna Gordon (#21-Leah Golton 54), #3-Christie Rampone, #6-Tayor Lytle, #8-Erika Skroski, #11-Raquel Rodriguez, #12-Kim Decesare (#32-Tasha Kai 68) (#7-Nikki Stanton 85), #13-Kristen Gruber, #16-Sarah Killion, #24-Kelly Conheeney, #33- Erin Simon.
Subs not used: #15-Coco Goodson, #44-Theresa Diedrich, #27-Caroline Casey.
TOTAL SHOTS: CHI 7-8 NJ
SHOTS ON GOAL: CHI 3-3 NJ
FOULS: CHI 7-6 NJ
OFFSIDES: CHI 2-3 NJ
CORNER KICKS: CHI 4-3 NJ
SAVES: CHI 2-2 NJ
Referee: Matthew Franz
Referee’s Assistants: Becky Pagan, Maggie Short
Fourth Official: Alex Beehler
Woman of the Match: Sofia Huerta (CHI)
Monday, May 30, 2016
Chicago Red Stars