• Chicago Red Stars

Pre-Match Quotes | Ava Cook and Chris Petrucelli - July 14, 2022

Ahead of the Chicago Red Stars’ match against the Houston Dash, Coach Chris Petrucelli and forward Ava Cook took questions from reporters. Chicago takes on Houston Saturday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. CT.

On Mogran Gautrat’s availability (from Claire Watkins)

Chris Petrucelli: I think she’s about four weeks out. She is moving forward, I thnk, more than we’ve seen her over the last few months. She’s doing some running she’s touching the ball, and I do think there’s some hope here that she’s going to be back some time in August, but she’s not fully in training. It's a strain in the soleus and those are, as I'm told, tricky injuries because you walk on it every day and it never really gets the full rest that it needs and I thinik over the course of the last three months or so she’s tried to come back a couple of times and she’s had a number of setbacks and finally we got to a point where we said to shut it down. So she shut down for 3-4 weeks and now she’s in the process of trying to pick it up.

On Ava Cook’s time with the U-23 USWNT (from Claire Watkins)

Ava Cook: Yea, I mean, my time with the U-23s was obviously a unique opportunity. Kind of a once in a lifetime experience. Definitely a different enviornment, especially because a lot of them have played together but also there’s a lot of new girls. It was a kind of fun experience getting to know each other for the time we were there and put it to the test with the couple of games at the end of it all. It was definitely a great experience and I learned a lot. It was a switch up from what I've been used to here, but I'm excited to be back. As fun as the experience was and it’s great for as much as i learned, I missed it here, so I'm glad to be back. Definitely taking everything I learned there and applying it here for sure.

On playing the number nine in the NWSL compared to college (from Claire Watkins)

Cook: For as much as I enjoyed playing the nine in college, this is just a new level, honestly. Physicality wise, I've had to be a lot stronger and smarter for sure. Just everything I learned here, different positions on the field where I can be more successful, compared to maybe in college. Different decision making on whether or not to turn or hold it up. Just a whole new level. It’s been a lot of fun getting to learn those new things and apply them to games, go back watch it on film and do it all over next week. It's been a lot of fun and I'm excited to get the second half of the season going and continue to learn.

On facing Houston without their international players (from Claire Watkins)

Petrucelli: I think I've said this, everyone is missing players to some extent, and anybody who’s missing is a high quality player. So I think all teams are trying to deal with being different and trying to find different people who can step up. For me the challenge for Houston is new coach, who knows what they’re going to do what they're going to look like, how they’re going to play and who they’re going to play. So that tells us we need to be prepared for anything and we need to really focus on ourselves and make sure we’re really good in the match.

Cook: I think we look at every game as a new opportunity and new challenge. And with the players gone I think it’s been great so far how different players have been able to step up in light of those that are missing. So I think going to Houston, it’s going to be different from the first time we played them for sure, but I think coach is right, we have to focus on ourselves first and if we focus on ourselves it’ll be a good game for sure.