Undefeated in their last three games, the Washington Spirit head to Bridgeview, Illinois to take on the league leading Chicago Red Stars at SeatGeek Stadium in a matchup that the Spirit hopes vaunts them into first place in the NWSL standings.
Led by stellar goalkeeping by Aubrey Bledsoe and timely goals by a core group, the Spirit have played well throughout the season, most recently coming off an impressive 3-1 win over Portland Thorns FC last week.
Chicago, meanwhile, have won three of their last four games and sits atop the league with 11 points, one ahead of Washington.
One main storyline of the game are the players who won’t be there. Some key players on both sides are playing for various national teams in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in June. Chicago will be missing the league’s top scorer, Sam Kerr, as will be playing for the Australian national team. The Red Stars are also without keeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Tierna Davidson, and midfielders Julie Ertz and Morgan Brian, all of whom have joined the United States Women’s National Team.
For the Spirit, this is the first week they will be playing without midfielder Chloe Logarzo and defender Amy Harrison who have joined the Matildas as well as attacker Cheyna Mathews who has joined the Jamaican national team for the World Cup tournament. Also for the Spirit, this is the third week that they will be without forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Rose Lavelle who are part of the U.S. Women’s National Team.