The NWSL Challenge Cup begins on Saturday with two intriguing matchups. The Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit will tangle in the second and final game of the slate. The match will get underway at 10 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.
Chicago was initially preparing to face Orlando in the opening match, but the Pride was forced to withdraw from the tournament on Monday due to a recent string of positive COVID-19 cases among players and staff. The schedule makers were forced to act quickly and revise the schedule in order to pair Rose Lavelle's squad as Chicago's opponent on Saturday. Here's how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Saturday, June 27
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Zions Bank Stadium -- Herriman, Utah
- Live stream: CBS All Access
- Odds: Chicago -110; Draw +230; Washington +250 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
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Chicago Red Stars: Led by head coach Rory Dames, the Red Stars are returning to play after coming up short in the 2019 NWSL championship game. The added motivation could carry the squad on a deep run in the tournament. Dames has mentioned that the tournament will be utilized as an opportunity for his young players to get experience. All of Chicago's U.S. national team players have traveled with the team, with experienced players such as Sarah Gorden and newly-acquired forward Kealia Ohai Watt set to make her debut for the club.
Washington Spirit: Head coach Richie Burke is bringing his young squad to the Challenge Cup hoping to build on their surge from last season. If the Spirit can retain the chemistry from 2019, while having U.S. national team playmaker Rose Lavelle in tow, they have the opportunity to contend for the title. Andi Sullivan, and 2019 NWSL Rookie of the Year candidate Jordan DiBiasi are players to watch.
These two teams match up well against each other and first game adjustments will likely end up in a draw. Pick: Chicago Red Stars 1, Washington Spirit 1.
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