A combination of good play, rescheduled fixtures and the season being only two games long so far has San Diego Wave FC atop the NWSL regular season standings, and they’ll put that record to the test when they host the Chicago Red Stars at Torero Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the teams’ first-ever meeting.
San Diego are flying high to start the season, following up the regular season opening win on the road with a 4-0 romp over Gotham FC in the home regular season opener last week. Alex Morgan scored a glut of goals, her first four-goal performance in NWSL play in her career, and a deserved NWSL Player of the Week award. Gotham weren’t necessarily out of the game for most of it, but they wilted badly and let it get out of hand, and San Diego took advantage.
Their opponent got an unexpected bye last weekend, as the Red Stars were scheduled to play the Washington Spirit, but due to the Spirit reaching the Challenge Cup final on the same day, the league match was rescheduled. Chicago have played one regular season game, a 2-1 win over familiar foe Racing Louisville, with Ella Stevens and Bianca St-Georges scoring for the Red Stars. The week off could help Chicago, who have quite an injury list racking up, although long-term absences Tierna Davidson, Casey Krueger and Sarah Woldmoe still won’t be available.
So, I think this is a very good test for Wave FC. Chicago have Mal Pugh, who when healthy and available finally learned how to transform games herself in the past year or so, while they’re still missing quite a few players and seem to be capable of some inconsistency. As an expansion team, the same can be said for San Diego, so we’ll see if Casey Stoney and her team can keep rolling against new opponents.
- Carly Telford (thigh) — OUT
- Tierna Davidson (knee) — OUT
- Morgan Gautrat (calf) — OUT
- Casey Krueger (maternity leave) — OUT
- Mallory Pugh (concussion) — OUT
- Kealia Watt (knee) — OUT
- Sarah Woldmoe (maternity leave) — OUT
- Ella Stevens (ribs) — OUT
- Dani Colaprico (illness) — QUESTIONABLE
- Vanessa DiBernardo (thigh) — QUESTIONABLE
- Alyssa Naeher (back) — QUESTIONABLE
- Arin Wright (hip) — QUESTIONABLE
How to Watch:
Sunday’s match between San Diego Wave FC and the Chicago Red Stars will be streamed in the United States on Paramount+, and in the rest of the world on Twitch. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 2 pm PT, with kickoff to come shortly after.