Orland Park native Tatumn Milazzo slides to advance the ball in a 3-2 loss to Portland on June 18. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park native Tatumn Milazzo slides to advance the ball in a 3-2 loss to Portland on June 18. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Sports Report | Wright injured in loss as Stars’s slide continues

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Even when things are looking better for the Chicago Red Stars, they get worse.

The slumping team, which has won one of four games since May 27 while scoring two goals over that span, rang up 15 shots — six of of them on goal — and looked lively and active on offense but lost to Portland, 3-2, on June 18 in an NWSL game at SeatGeek Stadium.

Veteran Arin Wright left the game on a stretcher after a collision in the 65th minute. Red Stars officials said Wright was taken to a hospital and did not have an update on her.

“It was in the leg area, that’s all I know,” Red Stars coach Chris Petrucelli said. “The initial thought was that it was a concussion, but I don’t believe in the end that’s what it was. It was more her leg.”

For a team that has battled injuries all year — including a season-ending injury to offensive star Mallory Swanson — this is another step backward.

“Look, we’ve had some things that haven’t bounced our way, but I think that happens to every team,” Petrucelli said. “We’re not focused on any luck or anything like that.

“We go through the same process we always go through.”

The Red Stars (3-8-1) trailed 2-0 at the time of Wright’s injury. The Stars’ Ella Stevens hit a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to make it a one-goal game, but Christine Sinclair added a goal in the 76th minute for NWSL defending champion Portland (6-2-4).

The Stars roared right back with an Allison Schlegel goal in the 82nd minute, with an assist by Julia Bianchi, to get the announced crowd of 3,655 hopeful, but that was all the scoring the home team would get.

The team had been listless in recent matches, and Petrucelli was glad to see the team attacking and scoring.

“There were some positives,” he said. “We looked like a team that’s capable of being dangerous. The last couple of games, we haven’t looked like that.”

On June 14, the team took a break from NWSL action and played its third Challenge Cup match, dropping a 4-0 road decision to Kansas City. A not-so-sweet 16-minute stretch doomed the Stars, who are 0-3-0 in the tournament’s pool play.

The game was scoreless until the 54th minute, when the Current scored and then added three more goals in a 16-minute stretch. Debinha scored two goals and former longtime Red Star Vanessa DiBernardo had a goal and an assist.

The Red Stars return to action at 4:30 p.m. June 25 when they visit Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

STEVENS scaled

Red Star Ella Stevens picked up a goal against Portland on June 18 in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

 

High five for Fire II
The Chicago Fire II played two games last week and came up with two wins. It capped the big week off with a 5-2 road win over the Philadelphia Union in an MLS NEXT Pro battle at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Victor Bessera had two goals in the win for the Fire (5-5-4).

On June 15, the Fire beat Orlando City B, 1-0, at SeatGeek Stadium. Charlie Ostrem scored on a header and goalie Jeff Gal racked up the clean sheet.

The Fire visits Crown Legacy at 4 p.m. June 25 at Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews in Matthews, North Carolina.

 

Hounds brawl, win
The Chicago Hounds’ inaugural season in Major League Rugby came to an end on June 17. The team fought hard, literally, in a 29-28 road victory over Dallas.

Five players were ejected at halftime after the teams engaged in a brawl.

Chris Mattina’s penalty kick in the 77th minute provided the winning margin. He also had kicks in the 63rd and 66th minute for the Hounds (3-13-0), who finished the season winning two in a row.

The Hounds avoided finishing in last place in the Western Conference, as they had 20 points to Dallas’ 19.

SeatGeek Stadium will host the MLR championship at 2 p.m. on July 8.

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