Spirit to rematch Red Stars in third game of Fall Series

Washington Spirit  |   September 25, 2020
Spirit to rematch Red Stars in third game of Fall Series Featured Image

Alejandra Martin

Boyds, Md. (9/25/20) – The Washington Spirit will face the Chicago Red Stars for the second time in three weeks for their third match of the 2020 NWSL Fall Series on Saturday, September 26 at 1 pm ET at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. The game will be streamed on CBS.

The two sides last met when the Red Stars visited Segra Field for their first Fall Series fixture on September 12. The fixture, which was defined by late-game heroics from rookie Jessie Scarpa and second-year Bayley Feist, ended in a 2-1 victory for the Spirit.

The Opposition

After dropping their first game against the Spirit, the Red Stars bounced back in a big way in their second, routing visiting Sky Blue FC by a score of 4-1.

Building up match fitness from their last performance, Chicago will be trying to keep the momentum going. To achieve this, Chicago will continue to look for midfielders Morgan Gautrat and Vanessa DiBernarndo, each having over ten successful passes ending in the attacking third (Gautrat with 12 and DiBernardo with 16) to link play with their top three forwards Kealia Watt, Sarah Leubbert and Zoey Goralski. The Chicago top three have been productive, producing four goals and converting 80% of their chances during the Fall Series.

Additionally, the Red Stars are going to have to be organized in the back. Emphasis will be placed on defender veteran Sarah Gorden and USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to steady the backline and keep up with the Spirit’s forwards.

The Spirit

After a BYE week last week, the Spirit will face off against the Red Stars for their second consecutive match. While the opponent remains the same, preparations will differ as the Spirit will be embarking on their first away match of the 2020 calendar year. 

The Spirit will want to keep the same energy and style of play from their last match. They will look to maintain control of the ball and continue transitioning the ball from the backline to their forwards. For that, it will be looking to connect passes between centerbacks Paige Nielsen and Sam Staab, who have an 86.47% combined passing accuracy, and midfielder Bayley Feist, who has nine successful passes into the attacking third of the field.

Furthermore, they will try to open up the field with and finding forwards Ashley Sanchez and Kumi Yokoyama running down the flanks or opening up space for the right and left backs to make runs and find players in Chicago’s box. Both players combined for a total of 21 successful passes ending in the final third, Sanchez having 10 and Yokoyama 11.

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