When the Breakers take the field Sunday afternoon at Benedictine University Sports Complex, just outside of Chicago, they’ll face a Red Stars team with some pretty big changes since the last time the two teams met. Sunday’s game is set for a 4 p.m. ET start and can be seen live at http://chicagoredstars.com/live/
In the first game of the season between the two sides - May 4 at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville - the Breakers beat Chicago, 4-1, backed by a hat trick from Sydney Leroux and Katie Schoepfer’s first goal of the season.
Sydney Leroux celebrates one of her three goals in a 4-1 win May 11 vs. Chicago (Photo by Mike Gridley)
The Red Stars come into Sunday’s match with a 1-4-2 record and in seventh place on five points, but they’re coming off a massive 2-0 win against the Portland Thorns on the road. In the June 1st victory at Jeld-Wen Field, Chicago got a goal apiece from No. 1 college draft pick Zakiya Bywaters and veteran Jackie Santacaterina. It was the first time Portland was held scoreless this season and the team’s first loss at home.
The game also marked the debut of the two newest Red Stars - German internationals, forward Inka Grings and defender Sonja Fuss - both coming from FZ Zurich of Switzerland. Fuss played on Germany’s World Cup winning teams in 2003 and 2007. Grings also is the all-time leading scorer in Germany’s Bundesliga with 350 goals, 75 of which came with Duisburg.
"Chicago is a different team than we played last time, and they’ve added two German players." Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. "It’s almost like a a whole new opportunity. We’re excited about the challenge. We’re looking for two good performances in a row. I think we’ll be eager to go get a win at Chicago."
Notes: The Breakers are 1-1-1 on the road this season and 2-2 on the road in the all-time series against the Red Stars. Breakers keeper Ashley Phillips, likely to get the start in goal Sunday, is 0-0-1 on the road this season, earning a 1-1 draw May 11 at Washington … Lianne Sanderson leads the league with seven assists. Five players have been the recipients of those assists, including Heather O’Reilly and Katie Schoepfer (twice each) … Sunday’s match ends a three-games-in-eight-days stretch for the Breakers. It began June 1 with a 5-1 loss to first-place Sky Blue FC on the road and continued Wednesday with a 2-2 draw at home against Western New York.
The Breakers return home Sunday, June 16, to take on Sky Blue FC at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.