Kerr's NWSL season ends with unfinished business as she declares: 'I'll be back'

Sam Kerr’s NWSL season has drawn to a close with a semi-final defeat to North Carolina Courage but the Westfield Matilda star insists, injury permitting, she will return to the Chicago Red Stars.

 “If I stay injury free I will definitely be back in Chicago. The best thing for me is when I’m happy off the field and I’m happy in Chicago,” Kerr said in the aftermath of the 2-0 loss.

The result means Caitlin Foord, Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso’s defending champion Portland Thorns will face the Courage in a rematch of the 2017 championship game on Saturday 22 September.

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Close encounter

In a match played at Portland’s Providence Park due to the impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, the Red Stars almost made the perfect start as Yugi Nagasato’s second-minute strike rattled the crossbar.

The Red Stars paid the price after five minutes when Jessica McDonald showed her pace to break away and put the Courage 1-0 up. Kerr almost responded immediately, her eighth-minute shot cannoning back off the post.

Chicago pushed for an equaliser going into half-time with Nagasato finding space but her shot was saved. The Red Stars kept the heat on after the break, Casey Short fired fractionally over.

Kerr was a constant threat as Chicago pushed for an equaliser but Sam Mewis gave North Carolina the insurance goal at 2-0 with a thunderbolt from long range to secure their return to the final.