Chicago Red Stars at FC Kansas City (Verizon Wireless Field)
FC Kansas City (5-3-1, 16 points) is coming off a 2-0 victory against the Red Stars in the first leg of the home and home series on Thursday night. With the win, Kansas City moved into third place behind league leaders Portland and Sky Blue FC.
The Blues are without six starters due to national team duty in Nicole Barnhart, Lauren Cheney, Kristie Mewis, Becky Sauerbrunn, Desiree Scott and Lauren Sesselmann. All four United States internationals started in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over South Korea at Gillette Stadium. Scott and Sesselmann will be in the mix for Wednesday’s matchup in Germany.
Bianca Henninger made her professional debut on Thursday, making three saves and earning her first shutout.
Despite missing several starters, FC KC has a plethora of attacking options in Melissa Henderson, Courtney Jones, Sinead Farrelly and Casey Loyd. Loyd scored on a penalty kick and Jones added a goal in Thursday’s victory.
Renae Cuellar is listed as questionable with a left ankle and MCL sprain suffered against Portland ten days ago. Cuellar (and Cheney) leads the Blues in scoring with four goals.
The Blues called up forward Jaime French, defender Natalie Norris, and midfielder Missy Geha for both matches this weekend. With a roster depleted by call-ups and the injury to Cuellar, all three saw action in Thursday’s victory.
The Chicago Red Stars (2-5-2, 8 points) saw their two game winning streak snapped when FC Kansas City took the first leg of the home-and-home series on Thursday night. It was the second game in four days for the Red Stars. Head Coach Rory Dames opted to rest some players with the team in the midst of a 10 day stretch where they will play four times (June 9 vs. Boston, June 13 vs. FCKC, June 16 at FCKC, then June 19 vs. WNY).
Lori Chalupny and Inka Grings both came in just past halftime and Ella Masar and Rachel Quon were both rested for the entirety of the match. Chalupny has been the leading goal scorer for the Red Stars with three goals on the season.
Chicago, who loses the fewest number of players due to call-ups, will be without Canadians Erin McCleod and Carmelina Moscato. Taylor Vancil will start in place of McLeod. Vancil was between the posts for the Red Stars first victory of the season in Portland.
Leslie Osborne is available for the Red Stars after missing four games with an MCL sprain. Zakiya Bywaters joins Shannon Boxx on injured reserve with a strained left MCL. Bywaters was injured in Chicago’s 2-0 win over Portland on June 1.
Chicago called up goalkeeper Kelsey Devonshire to back up Vancil. They also signed Jen Hoy prior to Thursday’s match. Hoy was the Red Stars fourth round draft pick in the 2013 College Draft and saw her first minutes of action against the Blues on Thursday.
FC Kansas City leads the series 1-0-0.