North Carolina Courage loses first NWSL game in almost 11 months

The reigning NWSL champion North Carolina Courage lost its first game in almost 11 months when it fell to the Chicago Red Stars, 3-1, on Sunday.

The Courage had not lost since June 16, 2018, against the Utah Royals en route to a regular-season and playoff double, the first in the league's history.

The Red Stars were led by Australian Sam Kerr, who scored two goals and set up Michele Vasconcelos for the third goal. Kerr, the 2017 and 2018 NWSL scoring leader, is tied for the 2019 NWSL scoring lead with the Courage's Crystal Dunn.

Dunn is one of four Courage players along with Sam Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper and Jessica McDonald, called up to the U.S. national team to prepare for the Women's World Cup.

The Courage was also without World Cup-bound Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. Debinha (Brazil) and captain Abby Erceg (New Zealand), who started against Chicago, have yet to be released for the World Cup.

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