Julia Bianchi heads back on defense shortly after delivering a first-half goal for the Chicago Red Stars on March 23 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Julia Bianchi heads back on defense shortly after delivering a first-half goal for the Chicago Red Stars on March 23 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars top Seattle, open season with two wins for first time in franchise history

Spread the love

By Jeff Vorva
Correspondent

Last year’s last-place finish notwithstanding, the Chicago Red Stars have had a pretty rich history of success.

The franchise has seven NWSL playoff appearances and has finished runner-up twice (2019, 2021), and prior to 2022 had finished no lower than fourth in the league ‘s regular season standings for six consecutive seasons.

This is a perennial winning team.

But the Stars have already done something this season that they had never done in franchise history — opening with two straight wins to collect six points.

They took down Seattle, 2-1, in front of an announced home-opener crowd of 5,494 at chilly SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview on March 23.

Seattle is no slouch, having finished second in the NWSL postseason tournament last season after a third-place finish during the regular season.

Coupled with a season-opening 2-0 win at expansion Utah on March 16, the Red Stars are riding high.

First-year Chicago coach Lorne Donaldson is happy with the 2-0-0 start, but he cautions “there is a long, long, long, long way to go.”

The way the Red Stars beat Seattle was impressive.

Julia Bianchi scored in the 42nd minute to give the Red Stars a 1-0 lead leading into the locker room at halftime.

Seattle (1-1-0) struck first in the second half, as Ji So Yun scored in the 63rd minute to tie the match, but the Red Stars’ Maxi Rall took care of things in the 67th minute after taking as pass from Taylor Malham

Bianchi, who helped set up that second goal by getting the ball to Malham, liked that the team could bounce back so quickly after allowing the equalizer.

MALHAM scaled

Taylor Malham of the Red Stars tries to move the ball down the field. She had an assist in Chicago’s 2-1 win over Seattle on March 23 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

“We were able to score five minutes after giving up the goal, so that shows our energy and resiliency,” Bianchi said. “It’s helping us win the games.”

Four players have scored goals in the two victories, and none of them were named Mallory Swanson.

Swanson is one of the top offensive players in the world and is coming off a 2023 season which she missed almost all of the Red Stars’ season and all of the United States’ run in the World Cup with a torn patellar tendon.

She has logged 80-plus minutes in each of the first two wins and although she hasn’t scored, she is way ahead of the game, according to Donaldson.

“I don’t expect Mal to hit any kind of form until five or six games in,” Donaldson said. “She’s done way, way, way better than I thought. I didn’t think she was going to start the season. I thought we were going to play the first set of games without Mal.

“Her just being on the field is a plus. She’s a leader out there and she’s going to work hard. She’s going to work her butt off for everybody. She puts fear in (opponents).”

 

Staab signed
Between victories, the Red Stars signed defender and three-time NWSL Iron Woman, Sam Staab, to a three-year contract extension running through the 2026 season.

Red Stars general manager Richard Feuz stated in a news release that Staab’s skills and experience will be a cornerstone in solidifying the team’s backline for seasons to come.

Staab came to the Red Stars from Washington in January in exchange for the third pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft. In her first appearance for Chicago, she played a full 90 minutes, assisting on Ally Schlegel’s goal in the 50th minute. She had more touches than any other Red Star and recorded a team-high three clearances.

The San Diego native spent five years with the Spirit after the club drafted her in 2019 with the fourth overall pick out of Clemson.

 

Another Naeher milestone
Red Stars goalie Alyssa Naeher racked up her 50th regular-season NWSL win with the Red Stars.

That’s a league record for matches won with one team by a goalkeeper. Naeher also earned the league’s Deloitte Impact Save of the Week honors during the Red Stars’ clean sheet in Week 1.

 

Coming up
The Red Stars visit Orlando (0-0-2) at 6 p.m., on March 29. Orlando tied Louisville, 2-2, on March 16 and Angel City, 1-1, on March 22.

The next home game is a late one — an 8:30 p.m. start on April 13 against Angel City at SeatGeek Stadium.

 

SWANSON 1 scaled

Red Stars standout Mallory Swanson gives directions during a 2-1 win over Seattle on March 23 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local News

new rainbow cone flavors

Rainbow Cone adds 4 new flavors

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Chicago’s iconic Original Rainbow Cone has been evolving over the past few years. First, it joined forces with the folks at Buono Beef and expanded its presence from its original location in Beverly to offer cones at Buono Beef locations and a few stand-alone stores as well as food trucks.…

Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz welcomes Park Lawn to the community. (Photos by Kelly White)

Park Lawn opens day program in Palos Heights

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Promoting inclusion and individuality, Park Lawn provides services that promote choice and access to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The mission behind the organization focuses on encouraging people with disabilities to discover their passion, to take pride in their accomplishments, to live more independently and to…

Gary's wife, Claire Sievers, his son, Brian Sievers, and daughter-in-law, Jenna Venezia, were in attendance to accept the honor on his behalf. (Supplied photo)

EPCHS adds Emmy-winning actor Gary Sievers to Hall of Fame

Spread the love

Spread the loveEvergreen Park Community High School has added a name to its list of Hall of Famers. Gary Sievers, a 1968 EPCHS graduate who became well-known for his acting, public speaking, work in radio and television, community service, civic leadership and teaching, was posthumously inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame during the Honors…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth vehicle sticker applications ‘lost’ in the mail

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Worth Village Clerk Bonnie Price said that even though application forms for village vehicle stickers were sent out to the post office last month residents were still waiting to receive those applications. “We have been doing this for 15 years,” Price said during the Worth Village Board meeting May 7. “This…

GSWNH_MBAopeningdayparade01_051724

It’s ‘Play ball!’ for Midway Baseball & Softball

Spread the love

Spread the love. If smiles were home runs, the boys and girls of the Midway Baseball & Softball Association were clearly the champions of West Lawn last Saturday, as they paraded through the streets of the community before beginning their 2024 season. – Photos by Steve Neuhaus  

Surveillance footage shows the takeover of 59th and Western just after 3 a.m. Sunday, May 5. Guillermo Caballero’s black Honda Accord  is at the right of the circle. --Supplied photo

Hunt killer in ‘drifting’ slaying

Spread the love

Spread the love. Police seek witnesses, video of 59/Western .  By Tim Hadac Police are appealing to the public to help find those responsible for the slaying of a 20-year-old West Englewood man during a takeover of the intersection at 59th and Western at 3:21 a.m. Sunday, May 5. The victim–identified as Guillermo “Memito” Caballero…

Briley

Mom gets 20 years in babies’ murder

Spread the love

Spread the love. Stuffed her newborn twin boys in an alley garbage cart . By Tim Hadac The books closed this month on a double murder that shocked and sickened many in the Garfield Ridge area more than 20 years ago. Antoinette Briley, 44, pled guilty on May 7 to murdering her twin baby boys…

Funeral2

Obituaries May 16, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the loveREV. MICHAEL P. AHLSTROM Rev. Michael P. Ahlstrom, 82, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, passed away Friday, May 3, 2024. Rev. Ahlstrom was born on April 7, 1942, in Indianapolis. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein and the University…

CRRNH_DerbyBonnetsSeniorCtr_051524

Ladies lead the way to stylish Kentucky Derby fun

Spread the love

Spread the love As a tip of the cap–so to speak–to the Kentucky Derby, acclaimed chef Gloria Hafer (second from right) visited the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center last week to cook a burgoo (a thick stew traditionally popular in the South). For an added bit of fun, the center had a derby contest. Among…

SVDPbundlebag

Seek donations for charity at Two Holy Martyrs

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac The Society of St. Vincent de Paul chapter at Two Holy Martyrs Parish will host a bundle weekend on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19. Volunteers will staff two trailers at the St. Rene Goupil Church parking lot, 64th and New England, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday…

Neighbors

House GOP advances 2 human trafficking victim protection bills as others remain in limbo

House GOP advances 2 human trafficking victim protection bills as others remain in limbo

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com After Illinois received another failing grade from a national advocacy group, state House Republicans have introduced legislation aimed at further protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators of human trafficking. Shared Hope International, an advocacy organization that works to prevent sex trafficking, said in its 2023 Illinois report card that…

Hundreds of bills pass, including changes to state’s biometric data privacy law

Hundreds of bills pass, including changes to state’s biometric data privacy law

By HANNAH MEISEL COLE LONGCOR & ALEX ABEDDUTO Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers passed more than 200 bills this week ahead of their scheduled May 24 adjournment.  Many of the measures will soon head to Gov. JB Pritzker, including a bill that changes how damages accrue under Illinois’ first-in-the-nation biometric data privacy law.…

Pritzker pledges to expand access to mental health care in Illinois

Pritzker pledges to expand access to mental health care in Illinois

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois draju@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month, Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton hosted a panel in Springfield this week at which he pledged to expand the state’s behavioral health services. With several dozen services providers from around the state in attendance, Pritzker…

With 1 week left in session, Pritzker admin says all revenue options remain on the table

With 1 week left in session, Pritzker admin says all revenue options remain on the table

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com While the governor’s office instructed its agency directors to prepare for $800 million in potential budget cuts last week, all facets of his plan to raise $1.1 billion in revenue to avoid those cuts remain under consideration.  Read more: ANALYSIS: ‘Significant enough’ opposition to Pritzker’s revenue plan leads to…

Illinois launches summer food assistance program

Illinois launches summer food assistance program

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The state is launching a new program to provide food assistance during the summer for families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school. Gov. JB Pritzker joined other state officials and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday to announce that Illinois will…

Lawmakers consider tax break for news publishers, state-sponsored journalism scholarships

Lawmakers consider tax break for news publishers, state-sponsored journalism scholarships

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com  SPRINGFIELD – A new measure being debated in the Illinois General Assembly would create a tax credit for certain news publishers based on the number of reporters they employ.  The proposal from Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, is part of a package of policies that he…

House gives OK to new state agency focused on early childhood programs

House gives OK to new state agency focused on early childhood programs

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House gave final passage Thursday to a bill establishing a new cabinet-level state agency whose mission will be to provide a kind of one-stop shop for services focusing on early childhood development and education. By the time it’s fully operational in 2026, the new…

As vacated Centralia funeral home prepares for new tenant, owner makes a startling find

As vacated Centralia funeral home prepares for new tenant, owner makes a startling find

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com In the basement of a Centralia funeral home in a dark hallway off the embalming room, tucked inside a nook behind two steel plates and a door, a visitor found three disembodied, neatly wrapped human legs, two of them marked with names and dated to the 1960s.  The…

Illinois Supreme Court considers expectation of privacy in hospitals

Illinois Supreme Court considers expectation of privacy in hospitals

By DILPREET RAJU  & ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – While Cortez Turner was in a hospital room being treated for a gunshot wound to his leg in 2016, police took his clothes. Now, the Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether that action violated Turner’s expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. The…

Capitol Briefs: House OKs program for student teacher stipends – but not the funding for it

Capitol Briefs: House OKs program for student teacher stipends – but not the funding for it

By PETER HANCOCK & ANDREW CAMPBELL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House approved a bill Tuesday to allow student teachers to receive stipends while earning their education degree, even though the money needed to fund those stipends is unlikely to be included in next year’s budget. House Bill 4652, by Rep. Barbara…