The beautiful game in a beautiful city: A soccer lover’s guide to Chicago

U.S. Soccer recently announced that the USWNT will be playing a friendly in Chicago on July 9 against South Africa in preparation for the Olympics.

Several women’s soccer fans in the National Women’s Soccer League Supporters’ Facebook group have asked for recommendations on where to stay in Chicago and what to do while visiting. I put together a soccer-centric visitors guide that I hope that will be useful to those visiting Chicago in support of the beautiful game.

Exploring Chicago. Photo credit: Nicole Hack

Where to stay?

There are countless hotel options in Chicago and most of these will be close enough to the stadium that you can walk to the game. Here are a few fun, trendy hotel locations that I recommend:

If these hotels aren’t your cup of tea or within your budget, from hip to historic, there are plenty of other hotels to stay at while visiting.  Check out Travel + Leisure and Midwest Living for more options.

Neighborhoods:

Chicago is a big city, so you might not be sure what location best suits your needs. Here are recommended areas to stay in based on proximity to Soldier Field:

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WoSo Roundup: From the USWNT to the Red Stars

From the USWNT to Rumi Utsugi, from the Red Stars to equal pay — here’s the latest news on the world of women’s soccer.

USA vs. Japan

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U.S.A. vs. Japan in Cleveland on Sunday, June 5. Photo Credit: Shane Murray – @SMurrayMedia

Over the last week, the USWNT played Japan in two intense friendlies. The first match ended in a 3-3 draw, and today the U.S. won 2-0 after the game was called due to severe weather in the 76th minute.  Take a look back at the games and the key notes from this competitive matchup:

Excelle SportsAli Krieger’s going to feel that storm the most Krieger’s still outside looking in on a starting back four spot with Jill Ellis, and not getting another fifteen minutes to prove her worth has to sting. In the meantime, there’s still Washington Spirit matches, but it’s not the same as coming in off the bench and making an immediate mark on the game.

Once A Metro: The formation was advertised as a 4-3-3 with Morgan as the lone striker with Heath and Dunn on the wings, but Press tended to press up higher, converting the formation into more of a 4-2-2 with Morgan and Press up top. Press was an integral part of the attack and created several opportunities in the U.S.’s final third, but the game was called before she could score a goal.

Last Word on Sports: This relatively young squad believes this was a game and experience that will help better prepare them for the Olympics. “Everything that we’re doing right now is to prepare us for the Olympic Games,” Ellis said about moving forward beyond the match. “We learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, it is a tough lesson, but if it helps us down in Brazil, I’ll take it.”

The Equalizer: Press had several opportunities in only her fourth start of the year. Her right-footed shot in the opening minute of the match went off the face of Yamane. Press also put an early second-half opportunity wide of the frame from 20 yards out after Tobin Heath played Press into space.

Equal Pay. Equal Play.

The U.S. women are still battling for equal pay. 

Keeper Notes: Going on strike is about exerting the maximum amount of economic pressure on your employer to get them to capitulate to the employment terms and conditions you desire. The USWNT’s best time to strike since 2005 was this last year when the USWNT were coming off all the fame and notoriety that went with being World Cup Champions.  However, a strike also has to have an economic impact that is felt by the employer. The Olympics are set this summer in Brazil and a strike would leave the USWNT without its best players before one of it’s two most important tournaments.

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The USWNT fight for equal pay. Photo credit: The Odyssey Online

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A Tale of Revenge: #USAvsJPN

Tonight the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) faced off against Japan. This matchup has grown to be one of the greatest rivalries in women’s soccer and has only grown to a more legendary status over the years.  This is especially true after the last two World Cup Finals. In 2011, Japan came out the victor 3-1 in penalties. In 2015, the USWNT defeated Japan 5-2 and were crowned World Cup champions.

Tonight’s game was all about revenge for Japan. There’s no spoiler alert here. See how the game played out below.

Pregame:

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