Samantha Kerr living up to billing for Red Stars

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Samantha Kerr is living up to her reputation with the Red Stars. | ISI Photos, via the Red Stars

When the Chicago Red Stars acquired Samantha Kerr during January’s NWSL draft, coach Rory Dames had high praise for the Australian forward.

“Sam is a player that any team in the league would jump to get,” Dames said then. “She is a young and eager forward that has proven to be one of the best in the world.”

Kerr has proven Dames right.

Despite missing the first five games of the season because of international duty, Kerr is leading the league with 14 goals. Named the NWSL player of the month Wednesday, she scored five times in August and has led the Red Stars (8-4-10, 34 points) to a six-game unbeaten streak that has propelled the Red Stars into the fourth and final playoff spot with two matches remaining in the season.

Kerr also played all 360 minutes of the Red Stars’ four games this month.

Picked up as part of a complicated three-team deal, the Red Stars got Kerr in a trade that sent the rights to World Cup champion Christen Press to the Houston Dash. Press refused to go to Houston, instead going to a club in Sweden before returning to the NWSL with the Utah Royals. Meanwhile, Kerr has been a driving force for the Red Stars.

The latest example came Saturday, when Kerr scored twice during a crucial 3-1 win at Orlando. Her goals in the 44th and 59th minutes and assist in the 45th helped give the Red Stars a two-point edge over Utah and Houston for fourth place, with a game in hand on both teams.

The Red Stars host Kerr’s former team, Sky Blue FC, on Tuesday night at Toyota Park.

Never No. 1

The Sky were hoping to make franchise history Tuesday night by winning the WNBA draft lottery. But true to their past in the event, the Sky didn’t get lucky.

After having the third-best odds to win the lottery, the Sky dropped to fourth. They have never selected first overall and have made the second selection three times. Unless the Sky make a deal, they will be using the fourth pick for the fourth time. They chose Gabby Williams fourth overall in 2018.

Mark your calendars

The Windy City Bulls open their season Friday, Nov. 2 when they host the Lakeland Magic in Hoffman Estates. Windy City will play 24 regular-season games at the Sears Centre, wrapping up their home slate March 23 against Canton.

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