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Chicago Red Stars forward Kealia Watt announces pregnancy

Kealia Watt of the Chicago Red Stars is expecting her first child in October. (Jeremy Reper/Getty Images)

Chicago Red Stars forward Kealia Watt announced Thursday that she and her husband, NFL star JJ Watt, are expecting their first child.

Watt played in 26 games for the Red Stars last season, leading the team with five goals scored and adding four assists.

She has been absent for the start of the 2022 season while recovering from an ACL tear she suffered during the 2021 NWSL semifinals. In February, the Red Stars said that Watt would “join the team when she’s ready,” though the news of her pregnancy will shift the timeline for her return.

Watt is due in October of this year. The NWSL regular season ends on October 2 with a match between Chicago and Angel City before the postseason gets underway.

The Red Stars forward isn’t the only NWSL player expecting a baby this season. Crystal Dunn of the Portland Thorns welcomed a baby boy in late May while both Allie Long and Julie Ertz also are expecting.