Chicago, Washington fight to stay in WPS playoff picture
So many elements have to work in the Chicago Red Stars’ favor. One thing they can control is their finish during their three remaining regular-season games - the next two at home.
The Red Stars (4-8-5) host the Washington Freedom (5-6-5) at 3 p.m. Sunday in Women’s Professional Soccer play at Toyota Park (Web cast available at ChicagoRedStars.com).
Chicago rallied past Washington, 2-1, earlier this month at Toyota Park, the only come-from-behind effort in WPS play. The Freedom and Red Stars are currently fifth and sixth in the WPS standings, outside of the three available postseason spots up for grabs (the Los Angeles Sol already clinched a spot in the WPS final).
Beyond the comfort of a home field, where Chicago has won back-to-back games, the Red Stars also have a full and healthy roster, which has not been the case all season.
The last time at home, Brazilian forward Cristiane became the first person to earn a WPS hat trick en route to a 3-1 win against FC Gold Pride. With Karen Carney, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe (pictured above) and Lindsay Tarpley all returning from their respective national team duties with England and the U.S., Cristiane won’t be in the position where she feels she needs to do everything to create some scoring chances. Their absences significantly affected Chicago’s attack in a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Sky Blue FC last Sunday.
This weekend’s match is the Red Stars’ “Green Game,” and the players’ green jerseys will be auctioned off. A pre-game concert by Chicago’s Hello Dave will be in the Red Stars Fun Zone starting at 2 p.m.