Chicago soccer report: Red Stars stay afloat near top of NWSL standings as Fire still struggle to score

The Chicago Fire are struggling to find the net in their second straight scoreless outing.

The Red Stars are holding steady at the top of the National Women’s Soccer League with another win helmed by Mallory Swanson.

And the DePaul men’s soccer team won the Chicago Cup for a second consecutive year.

Every other Tuesday, the Tribune will provide an update on what happened — and what’s ahead — for the Fire, Red Stars and local soccer.

Red Stars reignite scoring with Mallory Swanson

The 3-1-1 Red Stars are staying afloat at the top of the league standings behind another win fueled by Mallory Swanson.

Swanson had a hand in both goals of a 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign on Sunday, forging a full-field run with the ball to set up Ally Schlegel for the opening goal at the four-minute mark before netting one of her own in the 31st minute. Through four games played, Swanson is tied for third in the league with two goals.

The Red Stars remain third on the NWSL table with 10 points, trailing the Kansas City Current (13) and Washington Spirit (12). They have allowed only four goals, tied for the second-lowest tally in the league.

Fire held scoreless in back-to-back matches

The Fire are struggling to keep up offensively in the Eastern Conference after going two games without scoring a goal.

The Fire failed to score against New York on April 13 despite the Red Bulls going down a player early in the game when Andrés Reyes earned a red card in the 42nd minute, placing only three shots on frame in the scoreless draw. They managed five shots on goal against Real Salt Lake this weekend, but never generated a true challenge as they were bludgeoned in a 4-0 loss.

Goal-scoring wasn’t always an issue for the Fire, who were bolstered by homegrown midfielder Brian Gutiérrez in the opening weeks of the season. But this cold streak has further sunk the Fire, whose porous defense leads the league in goals allowed.

DePaul wins Chicago Cup

The DePaul men’s soccer team won this year’s iteration of the Chicago Cup, a local tournament for college programs in the city. This is the second consecutive win for the Blue Demons.

The tournament included matchups against Northwestern, Northern Illinois, UIC and Loyola. The Blue Demons capped off the tournament with a victory over UIC on Sunday.

The Chicago Cup is a key feature of the spring schedule for local soccer programs, which compete in the NCAA season in the fall semester.

Number of the week: 18

The Fire lead the Eastern Conference in goals against with 18 allowed in the first nine games of the regular season. Only two Western Conference teams — San Jose (24) and Portland (18) — have allowed that number. Fire goalkeeper Chris Brady is sixth in the league with 31 saves and a 64.6% save rate.

Up next: Fire

  • April 27: Atlanta United FC, 7:30 p.m., Soldier Field (Apple TV)

  • May 4: New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m., Soldier Field (Apple TV)

Up next: Red Stars

  • April 27: Portland Thorns, 6:30 p.m., SeatGeek Stadium (ION)

  • May 1: Washington Spirit, 7 p.m., SeatGeek Stadium (Marquee Sports Network)


“In moments like this, it’s important for us to come together. Now more than ever. Our fans deserve better. The organization deserves better. We deserve better for ourselves.” — Kellyn Acosta after the Fire’s 2-4-3 start to the season