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Midnight strikes on inaugural season: Chicago Red Stars 2, Angel City FC 0

Angel City FC fall on the road in their 2022 regular season finale, but this is just the beginning for the club

NWSL: Angel City FC at Chicago Red Stars Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

After the results from this past Friday, Angel City FC came into today knowing it would be the last time they took the pitch in 2022, regardless of result. Unless, of course, they pulled off the most madness of all madnesses and beat Chicago Red Stars by a margin of 16 goals or more. Realistically, that wouldn't happen, but closing out the season with a win by any margin, would be massive for the expansion side as they go into an important offseason in terms of building on the foundation already set.

The first half started tactically for ACFC. With nothing to go for in terms of a postseason, the team could afford to sit back and let Chicago — who did need a win to get into the playoffs — take all the risks while they look to play counter-attack football. It worked for a time, but as the half came to a close Chicago began to break down the defense a bit easier. Then, just as the half was coming to a close, a nice build-up ended with a great shot form Mallory Pugh to give the home side the lead right before the break.

Chicago were a team with everything to play for and it showed, even more in the second half. Not letting up, the home side was able to double their lead, and punch their ticket to the playoffs, late in the second half. Yuki Nagasato got space in a 1v1 situation, and put on some great skill moves to get space and get off a shot for the second goal of the night.

The final whistle blew on the match, and on Angel City’s inaugural season. The result at the end of the night wasn't the biggest concern, but rather, more about putting it all out there one last time in 2022. Now, the focus shifts to the off-season. First and foremost, getting healthy, then the rest can be figured out as the weeks move along. While there will be plenty of words here on Angels on Parade in the coming days to process and celebrate the magical inaugural season we just experienced, for now, we want to thank all you wonderful readers, as well as the Angel City FC for an unforgettable maiden voyage into the NWSL.

How do you feel about the season? About 2023? Leave a comment below!