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Chicago Red Stars come up short in first-ever NWSL final appearance

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ISI Photography/Chicago Red Stars

Chicago Red Stars come up short in first-ever NWSL final appearance

For all the positive momentum and attention the Chicago Red Stars received for reaching the NWSL Championship, things unraveled quickly once the game kicked off.

The Red Stars’ first appearance in the NWSL final was not one to remember. The host North Carolina Courage won 4-0 to win their second straight NWSL title.

Vanessa DiBernardo had an early shot for the Red Stars in the second minute which required a solid save from Stephanie Labbe. After that, the Red Stars were under siege,

The top-seeded Courage got a goal in the fourth minute from Debinha and kept piling on the pressure. Two more goals put the game out of reach before the break. U.S. national teamer Sam Mewis added a fourth goal on a header in the second half.

Red Stars forward Sam Kerr, who broke her own single-season record with 18 goals this season and was named the league MVP just days before the final, was unable to get on the board. The Australian had a pair of solid chances, but couldn’t convert.

The Red Stars went 2-0-1 against the Courage in the regular season and Kerr scored in all three of those games. Neither of those trends continued.

The Red Stars’ season featured a fifth straight playoff appearance and a first-ever final appearance. They won a semifinal in front of a raucous home crowd the week before. They also had a record crowd of 17,388 in a July 21 match that was the first game back for the team’s returning World Cup winners. However, the final defeat, and especially the way it happened, will leave a bitter taste in their mouths.


Red Stars coach Rory Dames tweeted out some reaction to the final.

Indy 500 and Grand Prix races rescheduled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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AP

Indy 500 and Grand Prix races rescheduled due to COVID-19 pandemic

The NTT IndyCar Series Twitter account announced on Thursday afternoon that the Indianapolis 500 and GMR Grand Prix races will be rescheduled for later dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Indy 500 was originally going to take place during Memorial Day weekend, on May 24. The Indy 500 will now take place on Sunday, August 23.

The GMR Grand Prix was originally scheduled for May 9 but will now take place on the Fourth of July. The new July 4 date for the GMR Grand Prix will create the first-ever double-header event with NASCAR and will air on NBC on Independence Day. The 104th edition of the Indy 500 will also air live on NBC with an official start time to be named at a later date. 

This day in Chicago Sports: March 20

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AP

This day in Chicago Sports: March 20

March 20 — Five Chicago pitchers qualified for the ERA title and finished with an ERA of 3.20. Zip Zabel of the Cubs in 1915, Rich Nye of the Cubs in 1967, Fergie Jenkins of the Cubs in 1972, Kerry Wood of the Cubs in 2003 & José Quintana of the White Sox in 2016.

Let’s dig in to March 20 in Chicago sports history!

Today’s Birthdays

George Altman turns 87.

He was an All-Star for the Cubs in 1961 and 1962, and was one of three players ever to homer off of Sandy Koufax twice in a game. The others were Ernie Banks and Felipe Alou.

Bobby Orr turns 72.
The Hall of Fame defenseman played the final 26 games of his NHL career with the Blackhawks. He had over a dozen knee surgeries in his career and was limited to 20 games in the 1976-77 season, and 6 games in 1978-79.

It’s Rick Hahn’s Birthday, too.
Fun with dates: Rick Hahn was named White Sox Senior VP and GM on Oct. 26, 2012. The White Sox won the World Series on Oct. 26, 2005. Original White Sox owner Charles Comiskey died on Oct. 26, 1931. Former Sox GM Roland Hemond was born Oct. 26, 1929. 1919 White Sox manager Kid Gleason was born on Oct. 26, 1866...

Jamal Crawford turns 40.
He is one of four players in Bulls history to score 50 points in a game.
The four Bulls to score 50 points in a game, along with their career points per game with the Bulls:
Michael Jordan 31.5
Chet Walker 20.6
Jimmy Butler 15.6
Jamal Crawford 11.2

JaKarr Sampson turns 27.
If you put the minimum at four games, Sampson (who played four games with the Bulls) is one of eight players in Bulls history to average 20 points per game.
Michael Jordan 31.5
Zach LaVine 23.3
Jalen Rose 21.4
Bob Love 21.3
Chet Walker 20.6
Bob Boozer 20.4
Elton Brand 20.1
JaKarr Sampson 20.0

This day in Chicago Sports

This Day in 1983: Secord Se-cores!
37 years ago today, Al Secord bagged his 50th and 51st goals of the season against the Maple Leafs. He became the second player in Blackhawks history (joining Bobby Hull, who did it five times) to score 50-plus goals in a season. Only Jeremy Roenick (twice) has done it since.

This day in 2006: Bring Me the Lefty!
The White Sox and Mariners swapped former first round draft picks when the Sox shipped former top prospect Joe Borchard (read about him here) to Seattle for lefty reliever Matt Thornton. It was one of the more underappreciated trades in recent White Sox history. Thornton went on to set a White Sox record (which still stands) with 512 career relief appearances.