Player Profile: Rachel Hill (CRS)
Place of Birth: Rollinsford, New Hampshire
Previous Club: Orlando Pride
Rachel Hill’s NWSL career began in 2017 when she was drafted by the Portland Thorns. However, Hill was traded to the Pride before the season began and has played every minute of her NWSL thus far with Orlando. In her 3 seasons with the Orlando Pride, Hill scored 11 goals and had 3 assists in the 59 games she played.
Hill is one of the handful of forwards traded to the Red Stars this offseason in an attempt
to replace the scoring power that left the club when Sam Kerr signed for Chelsea in December.
Something that hasn’t left the club though is the never-quit, do-the-dirty-work mentality that has earned Chicago its reputation of grittiness. A large piece of that is their press and defensive workrate which Hill has said in interviews that she is looking forward to. She seems eager to shift from Orlando’s system which invited pressure to Chicago’s system which creates it.
There’s certainly a lot of competition when it comes to starting forwards for the Red Stars but Rachel Hill is sure to be in the mix. While we have already seen Hill start twice, head coach Rory Dames has made it clear that the first 3 games of the Red Stars’ tournament would be scripted in terms of starting lineups and substitutions. It will be interesting to see moving forward how often Hill will be in the starting lineup as both she and her teammates get their feet underneath them with more game experience. Through their first 3 games the Red Stars have only scored one goal and it came from midfielder Morgan Gautrat (Brian). While a lot more opportunities were created in their 1-0 loss to NC Courage there are definitely still some offensive questions that need to be answered. Thusfar Hill has not really been in the mix when it comes to goal scoring opportunities but this team has a lot of settling in to do before that becomes a concern.
Something Chicago is having success with is their defensive pressure in which Hill and her fellow forwards have been a crucial piece. The Red Stars only conceded one goal against the Courage who have long been an offensive powerhouse. The pressure up top had the Courage problem solving for a good part of the match trying to break through the block Chicago had set up. So while the Red Stars are still waiting for Hill to put on her scoring boots they are sure to be happy with the defensive shifts she has put in so far.
With each game we are starting to see more and more of the Chicago Red Stars we’ve come to know and love. They seem to be settling in well and as they do the offensive opportunities will come. Hopefully it will not be much longer until we see Hill score her first goal as a Red Star.
Watch Rachel and the Chicago Red Stars play their quarter final game against OL Reign later this week. For information on how to watch check out our blog post on How to watch The NWSL Challenge Cup around the world.
By Katie Clark