Yuki Nagasato may not be a household name outside of Brisbane, but for those in the know in the Windy City, she's becoming just as important as their mercurial striker.

The 32-year-old Japanese veteran and World Cup winner is an even higher pedigreed footballer than Kerr and has proved a stabilising effect on Chicago this season.

After the club who finished a distant fourth season have began to push for a serious title tilt this campaign, many pundits claimed Kerr carries the Red Stars.

With 15 goals this season, the Aussie captain has registered goal tallies similar to many NWSL club's entire hauls.

But behind many of these goals has been the NWSL's leading assist-maker. Nagasato's brilliant vision and ball-handling allows Kerr to time her runs finely.

It's also improved her run-making, with Kerr criticised at times for the huge amount of offsides she concedes, but Nagasato's lofted through balls often allowing the striker to hug the line and break more efficiently on the counter.

Many Brisbane Roar fans will remember Nagasato from her spell in the W-League last season, where the technical midfielder scored four goals in eleven loan appearances, helping Brisbane to a second-placed finish.

Far from declining with age, Nagasato is now following in the time honoured tradition of Japanese footballers, where like a fine wine, they only seem to improve.

If Kerr is going to win that maiden NWSL title, she's going to need all the help she can get.