Two years ago, there was a new set of video game simulations. This time around, players were looking at the real world.
In Chelsea’s maiden match of the Women’s Super League season on Tuesday, just six players showed up to Reading’s Madejski Stadium. The canceled legends team had hoped that a bit of shock therapy would enable them to break a 10-year losing streak in the WSL and breathe life into a league that was struggling with a midfield being dominated by England’s top teams.
Even before it could even play a few minutes, Chelsea took a cruel blow. Just minutes into the game, Reading claimed an early lead. Midfielder Laura Young entered the game in the 81st minute and, after fighting Chelsea’s keeper, proceeded to score what proved to be the match-winner.
Young’s goal comes after a full WSL season in which Celtic dominated English soccer. And more than a few league watchers wondered how Liverpool, the two-time champions, could function with Lionel Messi, arguably the best player in world soccer, unavailable to the team. Three-time champion Manchester City was also left without a player of Messi’s caliber.
And here we are, with just six players on the field for Chelsea, and the team is still just as disjointed as it has been in years past.
Wembley, you’re not gonna like this.