Red Stars’ hopes dashed once more in loss to Reign

Jeff Kassouf July 26, 2013 11

Megan Rapinoe scored twice in Seattle's 4-1 win over Chicago on Thursday. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Megan Rapinoe scored twice and Seattle Reign FC defeated the Chicago Red Stars 4-1 on Thursday to put a further dent into Chicago’s playoff ambitions.

With a game in hand, the Chicago Red Stars entered Thursday’s match knowing a win would put them within two points of the Western New York Flash and the fourth and final NWSL playoff spot. But the loss keeps Chicago (6-7-4, 22 pts.) stuck five points adrift of the playoffs with five games to play.

Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 6th minute on a low free kick from just above the corner of the 18-yard box. Jess Fishlock jumped over the shot in traffic to cause some confusion, and the ball skipped past Chicago goalkeeper Erin McLeod. Rapinoe added her second goal in the 68th minute when she intercepted a giveaway in the back and tapped it around McLeod.

Seattle’s lead doubled in the 22nd minute when Kaylyn Kyle finished a penalty kick after being denied a minute earlier by a handball on the line. Adriana Leon kept Kyle’s header out of the goal with her hand following Rapinoe’s corner kick, but Leon was only issued a yellow card for the infraction.

Chicago earned a penalty of their own in the 73rd minute on a questionable handball call in the box, but Hope Solo dove to her left to deny Inka Grings’ effort. Seattle, however — in the season debut of World Cup and Olympics veteran Stephanie Cox at left back — would not earn its first shutout of the season. Just a minute later, second-half substitute Jennifer Hoy scored on a counterattack for the Red Stars to cut the deficit to 3-1. Thoughts of a comeback were short-lived, though.

Liz Bogus iced the game with a goal in the 82nd minute after Rapinoe’s booming long ball put the substitute in behind for her first goal of the season.

Seattle improve to 5-10-3 (18 pts.) and are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but they would need to win out and get significant help. Chicago, meanwhile, have the most realistic chance of causing change in the Top 4, but Sunday’s match at Portland just became that much more critical.

  • kdm

    Just when it looked like Hope Solo would finally get her clean sheet after a nice save on a PK, her defense (re: Kyle) let’s her down by getting torched for Chicago’s only goal of the game. Sigh…it just isn’t going to happen this season it seems. Rapinoe was good but some misplaced crosses and a few losses of possession in midfield stopped it from being a great performance by her.

    Apart from that, a great comeback win by Seattle after a disappointing performance at KC. It’s a shame they couldn’t get going earlier this season because of missing players because they’re a fun team to watch when they’re on song and could probably beat most of the teams in the playoffs right now (KC seems to be their bogey team).

    • kdm

      P.S. Leon should’ve seen red for her handball on the goal line.

    • romel dias

      They are still missing the finish experience and quality of A-Rod…but they’ve gotten much better in front of goal :)

      Go Reign!!

    • Forgedias

      Why are people blaming Kyle for that when it was Barnes that pinched to close in on Chalupny and opened up the through ball/chip shot. There wasn’t much Kyle could do when she was on the back of Hoy and Barnes vacating her side of the field. The chip shot over Barnes into the open side gave Hoy room to run into and what defender is going to have an easy time defending that?

      You guys need to look why that goal happened in the first place.

  • Lorehead

    Missing out on their internationals for most of the season probably killed the Reign’s playoff chances, which is a pity, since both Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo are exciting players. By beating the Red Stars, they probably even killed their own chances of playing spoiler to the Flash. By beating the Flash or the Thorns, though, they might be able to keep them from moving up the table, and the Cascadia rivalry and the great run they’ve been having should make their last game with the Thorns a.fitting end to the season. It might even have a playoff game at Jeld-Wen on the line

  • Mikey Mac

    Wow, i;ve been missing this season! As far as i’ve been watching or informed, it was one hell of a surprise to see there record, LOSING!?!?!? Hope Solo isn’t the bes nor my fovaorite female keepr but she’s good, no Clean sheets though??? I bet they sneak in, they have the opportunity

  • JJ

    I think Kyle is a great defender, but how Repinoe didn’t get the MVP for this game is outrageous. Two goals and an incredible assist on the last goal. Are you kidding me? Doing all this while keeping the defence constently off balance. She is always fun to watch, but was magic in this game.

    • pakacuda

      Agreed. I think it’s good not to over-credit goal scorers, but in this case Rapinoe deserves all the credit she can get.

  • kernel_thai

    The best thing about Seattle is they r having fun again. After the unimaginable drudgery of the first half of the season they r finally being rewarded for not giving up when most normal people not coached by Laura Harvey would have. It wasnt long ago that Kyle was a benched midfielder…now she is the grit that compliments Barnes guile on the back line. How many wasted runs did Liz Bogus make? Now her runs r rewarded and couldnt u see it in the way she celebrated her goal. How many times did a bad break do them in. Now Solo turns bad breaks into saves. If they get a full season from the same team next year, I think the fun is just getting started.

    • Kel

      That Bogus goal was full credit to Pinoe for the amazing service even a 4th grader could have put that ball in the net. Pinoe is the one who has made everyone look better than they are. As a forward Bogus has played 751 minutes and only scored one goal. If I had that kind of productivity at my job I’d be fired. Point is let’s keep it in perspective.

  • Katie

    As the only team in the league with no US national team players playing, CRS deserves some credit. They are still in the hunt and should be proud of their efforts. Everyone always mentions the reign’s (and spirt’s) hardships, but that is nothing compared to chicago.