This Monday, June 5 at 7:00pm, Angel City hosts the Chicago Red Stars for the first time in 2023. The game will air locally on Bally Sports SoCal, as well as air live in the US on Paramount+ and internationally on NWSLSoccer.com. Radio broadcasts in English and Spanish will be available on iHeart and KWKW, respectively. For more information on broadcasts, click here.
You can buy tickets for the match here.
This will be Angel City’s third all-time meeting with the Red Stars. Last season, the two teams split the results of their two games, with LA winning 1-0 at home in August thanks to a Savannah McCaskill goal, and Chicago coming away with a 2-0 victory in the final game of the season.
Chicago is currently ranked 12th in the NWSL, with a record of 2–6–1 (W–L–D). Last week, they snapped a four-game losing streak in all competitions with a 1-0 win over the Orlando Pride. Forward Yuki Nagasato scored the only goal in that game in the 22nd minute, assisted by defender Casey Krueger.
ACFC is in 10th place with a 2–4–3 record. Their most recent regular season game was a disappointing 4-1 loss at Seattle last weekend. Midweek in the Challenge Cup, they nearly played the Portland Thorns to a 2–2 draw, only to concede a goal late in stoppage time and come up empty-handed at Rose City.
Chicago took a hit early in the season with the loss of forward Mallory Swanson to a knee injury sustained in a US women’s national team game. Swanson was the leading scorer for the Red Stars last year, tying with North Carolina’s Diana Ordoñez ranked fourth with the most goals in the league, with 11 in the regular season. In Swanson’s absence, Chicago’s offense has relied on a variety of scoring threats, with Nagasato, Penelope Hocking and Ella Stevens tied for the top scoring spot with three goals apiece.
The Red Stars, long a perennially strong team in the NWSL, underwent a number of key personnel changes this offseason. Danny Colaprico and Vanessa DiBernardo, longtime staples of Chicago’s midfield, are gone, DiBernardo for Kansas City and Colaprico for San Diego. Forward Rachel Hill also went to the Wave.
But Chicago has also made a few additions to its roster, including Racing Louisville’s Jamaican international Cheyna Matthews, a forward, and German forward Sandra Starke, who is on short-term loan from VfL Wolfsburg until mid-June. The team also added a name that will be familiar to Angel City fans, midfielder Cari Roccaro, who played for Los Angeles in the club’s inaugural season.
Perhaps the most decorated member of the Red Stars roster is longtime USWNT starter Alyssa Naeher, who recently broke the NWSL record for most career saves.
A meeting in the windy city
Angel City has two key players with Chicago roots, forward Katie Johnson and defender Sarah Gorden. Johnson played for the Red Stars from 2019 to 2022, when she was traded to San Diego before the expansion draft. Chicago sent Gorden to Angel City at the same time, but she suffered a preseason injury and was out for 2021.
Now that he’s back on the field, Gorden says he’s looking forward to playing his old team. “I marked this game on my calendar two years ago,” he said. “I’m very excited to face my former team. I still have close friends there, but he brings an extra layer of emotional excitement and energy to the game. I can’t wait.”
Gorden not only played for the Red Stars, but also lived in Chicagoland his entire life until moving to Angel City, having grown up in Elk Grove Village and attending college at DePaul.
“It definitely has a different feeling for me than for other players,” he continued. “I was born and raised there, I went to college there. That’s my city. I talk about being from Chicago all the time. It’s very important to me. I always feel like I have something to prove, but a game like this even more. It makes me feel like a newbie. Like I have to go out there and prove myself.”