Chicago Red Stars (2-4-2, 8pts.) v. FC Kansas City (4-3-1, 13pts)
Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 7:30pm EDT
Benedictine Univ. Sports Complex, Lisle, Ill.
Watch the Match Here!
Twitter – @ChicagoRedStars @FCKansasCity

FC Kansas City and the Chicago Red Stars will meet Thursday in the first match of a home-and-home series that will see the clubs face off twice in the span of 72 hours.

Thursday will mark the first time this season the clubs have faced each other. FC Kansas City currently sits in fourth place in the NWSL table while Chicago is just five points behind in sixth.

Between both clubs, eight players will be out of the lineup due to international duty. FC Kansas City will be without Lauren Cheney (USWNT), Kristie Mewis (USWNT), Beckey Sauerbrunn (USWNT), Nicole Barnhart (USWNT), Lauren Sesselmann (CANWNT) and Desires Scott (CANWNT). The Red Stars will be without goalkeeper Erin McLeod (CANWNT) and defender Carmelina Moscast (CANWNT).

The Red Stars will be looking for their third win in a row as they come into the match off a 1-0 win against the Boston Breakers. Midfielder Lori Chalupny, a former staple in the USWNT lineup, had one of her best matches of the season and tallied the match-winning goal in the 26th minute, her third of the season. With both Sesselmann and Soctt out of the lineup, FC Kansas City will need to look for Leigh Ann Robinson and Merritt Mathias to control Chalupny and recently acquired German internationals Sonja Fuss and Inka Grings.

Chicago also announced on Thursday that they have officially signed their fourth round pick, Princeton forward Jen Hoy. Hoy practiced with the team during the preseason but returned to Princeton to finish her studies.

FC Kansas City will have a lot of holes to fill as they will be without six starters including their goalkeeper Barnhart. Bianca Henninger, a former US U-20 keeper who won the Golden Glove at the 2010 U20 World Cup, will get the nod at goalkeeper. Although she has yet to see action in the regular season, Henninger was impressive in both the preseason and on the reserve club.

Blues forward Renae Cuellar is a game-time decision as she is still recovering from a sprained ankle and sprained MCL she suffered during the team’s match against Portland. Good news for FCKC is that we are hearing Casey Loyd should be back for tonight’s match and most likely would get the start if Cuellar is unable to play. Loyd has appeared in two matches this season for the Blues logging 151 minutes and has one assist.

FC Kansas City also called up three players from their reserve squad, forward Jaime French, defender Natalie Norris and midfielder Missy Geha. FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski told The Daily Wiz “We have a good roster, a deep roster and it is a perfect opportunity for some of those players that haven’t played a lot of minutes to play and hopefully grab a spot on the roster for a game to come.”

Score Prediction: 2-1 Chicago Red Stars over FC Kansas City with goal by Chalupny and Grings for Chicago and Erika Tymrak for FCKC.