The bleeding has to stop. It has to stop now. It has to stop here.
The Chicago Red Stars all know it. Coach Emma Hayes knows it. Nuff said.
Everyone knows what to do and how to do it. Tonight, against league-leading LA Sol and on Sunday in Santa Clara against FC Gold Pride, the Red Stars have to be firing on all cylinders. They have to take their best intervals of performance from the season and put them all together in one game—and then they have to do it twice.
First, Rapinoe, Tarpley, Klein, Carney, and Lloyd have to recreate the goals they have already scored this season. The front line and midfield have to recreate their best attacking game, displayed in the first half against Boston and in the first half against Gold Pride. In addition, Cristiane needs to find the goal. Ditto, Frida Ostberg.
Next, Caroline Jonsson needs to reprise the goal-keeping clinics she put on in the first four games when she allowed only one transgression, and that was when the team was one down. In order to do this she needs her back line, Igwe and Ifume to play in synch with each other and as tough as they did in the early going.
Marian Dalmy needs to continue to start the counter-attack, as she has often, so brilliantly done.
In short, the Red Stars need to reprise their defensive performance in the first four games and their offense performance against Boston.
If they do all of this, it doesn't matter that they're playing first place LA (tonight) or their basement partners, Gold Pride (this Sunday). They will dominate. They will win. No question. Nuff said.
If not...well, let's not go there.