The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup concludes Sunday when the Chicago Red Stars face the Houston Dash in the final to determine a champion. Houston advanced into the final after eliminating Portland Thorns FC, 1-0. Chicago Red Stars defeated Sky Blue FC, 3-2 during their semifinal.
We have everything to know about Sunday's game below.
- Date: Sunday, July 26
- Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Rio Tinto Stadium -- Sandy, Utah
- TV: CBS
- Live stream: CBS All Access
- Odds: Dash +260; Red Stars +125; Draw +190
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Houston Dash: The Dash entered the knockout round having cooled off in front of net. Houston scored five goals in its first two preliminary matches, only to go scoreless through the quarterfinals. In their quarterfinal, the Dash found shots on goal, but only connected on one shot. In their semifinal, the Dash were able to find the back of the net thanks to a scrappy clean-up goal on a set piece from Rachel Daly. The team's adjustment over its last few matches has seen the insertion of Nichelle Prince back into the top line, and Bri Visalli in the starting XI. The team and staff has spoken openly about their current shift in perspective throughout the tournament, and are making their first ever NWSL finals appearance.
Chicago Red Stars: Chicago will be making its second consecutive finals competition after earning six consecutive playoff appearances. The team had mixed results over group play as head coach Rory Dames scripted the preliminary rounds and utilized early games to give his whole roster minutes throughout the tournament. The team's top line found itself struggling through the tournament, including into the knockout stage, but exploded offensively in the semifinal against Sky Blue FC. The team is known for its defensive-minded players, and heading into the final is now clicking offensively. The Red Stars' injury report is lengthy ahead of the match, but the team has overcome injuries throughout the Challenge Cup, and is looking to earn its first NWSL title for the franchise.
Both teams were able to score in regulation during the semifinals, but the final will likely be a physical match that comes down to one team outlasting the other. Pick: Chicago Red Stars 2, Houston Dash 1.