Chicago Red Stars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chicago Red Stars
Full name Chicago Red Stars
Nickname(s) Red Stars
Founded 2007
Stadium Sports Complex at Benedictine University
Lisle, IL
Ground Capacity 3,000+
President/Owner Arnim Whisler
Head coach Rory Dames
League National Women's Soccer League
Current season

The Chicago Red Stars is an American professional soccer club based in downtown Chicago and currently playing most of their games in the suburb of Lisle, Illinois. The team was a founding member of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) and participated in WPS from 2009–2010, when the Red Stars played their home games at Toyota Park. After leaving the WPS in December 2010 due to financial issues, the team reorganized and joined the Women's Premier Soccer League for the 2011 season,[1] and in 2012, the team participated in the inaugural WPSL Elite League. The team now plays in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).


Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)[edit]

Establishment (2006–2009)[edit]

In 2006, it was announced that Chicago would get a team in a new league being developed for women's professional soccer. It would ultimately join six other teams, including Washington Freedom, Boston Breakers, Los Angeles Sol, FC Gold Pride, Sky Blue FC, and Saint Louis Athletica in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) for the league's inaugural season in 2009.[2][3]

On June 3, 2008, the "Red Stars" name was announced at a ceremony held at Toyota Park. The name refers to the four six-pointed, red stars on the municipal flag of Chicago. Each star represents a landmark event in Chicago history: Fort Dearborn, the Great Chicago Fire, the 1893 World’s Fair, and the 1933 World's Fair. Other names considered were Progress, Towers, Stinking Onions, Massacre, Union, Blues, Riot, 1871 and Wind. [1] The choice of Red Stars supported the popular vote of a two-month fan ballot.[4]

Marcia McDermott, a former head coach of the Northwestern University women's soccer team and WUSA team Carolina Courage, was named as the Red Stars' general manager for the inaugural season.[5]

2009 inaugural season[edit]

The Red Stars line up for the National Anthem.

The Chicago Red Stars won their first game of the season, 1–0, at Saint Louis Athletica, and followed with two ties (1–1 at Washington Freedom and 0–0 hosting Sky Blue FC) and a 4–0 thrashing of Boston Breakers at Toyota Park. This gave the team the best starting record of any team in the league besides eventual season champions Los Angeles Sol, seeming to live up to preseason expectations based on the strong core of USWNT and international players on the Red Stars roster.

Despite their strong start, the Red Stars then went winless for their next nine games, only getting three away draws in that streak, which included a 451-minute long scoring drought. Their opponents, the Washington Freedom scored first in the next game and it appeared the streak would continue. However, the Red Stars made WPS history by becoming the first team to successfully come from behind, to win 2–1. They also beat cellar-dwellers FC Gold Pride in their next game 3–1, but then lost four of their last five games, eliminating them from the playoffs as they ended the season in sixth place.

True to his agreement to see the Red Stars organization through its first season, Peter Wilt chose to step down as team CEO at the end of 2009, moving on to become general manager of the Milwaukee Wave, the NISL team in his hometown. General Manager, Marcia McDermott, took on many of his responsibilities at the Red Stars, although he continued to support the team as one of its representatives on the Women's Professional Soccer Board of Governors and as President of the Chicago Red Stars Charitable Foundation.[6]

2010 season[edit]

The Red Stars opened up their second season with high hopes and many new faces.[7] In their first game, the Red Stars lost 1–0 at Sky Blue FC despite dominating much of the game. A 1–1 home tie in their second game earned the Stars their first point of the 2010 season.

After a successful 2010, the team left WPS on December 13, due to being unable to meet the league's funding requirements for the 2011 season.[8]

Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL)[edit]

2011 season[edit]

The Red Stars ultimately joined the Women's Premier Soccer League for 2011.[9][10] They played their home games at the Sports Complex at Benedictine University [11] in west suburban Chicago.

The new roster consisted of players from the WNT U-20 and U-23 pools, as well as collegiate stars. The first player announcement included three players with WPS experience, including two from the Red Stars' 2010 squad.[12] The Red Stars were coached by Rory Dames, a Chicago native. The Red Stars also continued their activity in the Chicago soccer community through their soccer camp programs.[13]

The Red Stars finished the regular season with a 10–1 record, and hosted the league semifinals and championship matches.[14] While they beat Tampa Bay Hellenic 2–1 in their semifinal, they lost by the same scoreline to the Orange County Waves (another WPSL team that has past WPS connections) in the final.

Women's Premier Soccer League Elite (WPSLE)[edit]

2012 season[edit]

In 2012, the Red Stars joined two other former WPS clubs (Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash) in the formation of the WPSL Elite League. Five other former WPSL teams joined the league, including: ASA Chesapeake Charge, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, New York Fury, and the Philadelphia Fever.[15]

Chicago finished fourth in the league, making the playoffs, and advanced to the final, only to lose this year to the Flash in a 2–4 penalty shootout after a 1–1 draw after extra time. Impressively, the Red Stars also won the 2012 National Women's Cup with just half of their roster, as the Cup final occurred at the same time as their final WPSL Elite regular season match against (ultimately) third-place New York Fury.

National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)[edit]

In November, 2012, it was announced that the Red Stars would be one of eight teams in a new women's professional soccer league, then yet to be named, which would be subsidized by the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation.[16][17] The league is expected to start play in Spring, 2013.

2013 season[edit]

In the inaugural season of NWSL, Red Stars played 22 matches with 8 wins, 8 ties and 6 losses to finish the season at sixth place in an eight team league.

2014 season[edit]

Red Stars started the regular season with a 1-0 win over Western New York Flash at Toyota Park on April 19. It is in contention for one of four post-season playoff slots.

Crest and colors[edit]

The primary logo combines two heraldic Chicago images: the shape of the shield is taken from it equivalent inside the city of Chicago’s official seal. The colors, stripes, and stars in the logo are all inspired by the symbolism of Chicago’s municipal flag, with the blue stripes representing the two branches of the Chicago River. The six points on the large red star in the center of the Chicago Red Stars logo also have their own meaning to the team:

  • Entertainment (top point)
  • Service (next point moving clockwise)
  • Success
  • Community
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

Adrenalin, Inc., and jlmvisual partnered to jointly develop the Red Stars identity.[18]


See also: NWSL stadiums

During the team's membership in Women's Professional Soccer, the Chicago Red Stars played at Toyota Park. Owned by the Village of Bridgeview and managed by the Andell Sports Group, the park is touted as a world-class soccer stadium and concert venue. It has 20,000 dedicated seats for sporting events and over 28,000 permanent seats for concerts. The state-of-the-art venue also has 42 luxury suites, numerous hospitality areas, and a full-service Stadium Club. It is also home to the Chicago Fire Soccer Club.[19]

During the 2011 season in the Women's Premier Soccer League and subsequent seasons in the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite and National Women's Soccer League, the Red Stars played their matches at the Sports Complex at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. The university stadium seats 3,000.[20][21][22]

During the 2012 season in the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite, some games were played at Concordia University Chicago Athletic Complex in River Forest, Illinois [23] as well as the Lakeside Athletic Field at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois due to renovations being done at Benectine University.[24][25]


Chicago supporters were the first in Women's Professional Soccer to organize a supporters group, Local 134. They chose the name to reflect the history of organized labor in Chicago, as well as indicate their home in Toyota Park's section 134.[26]


WPS (2009–2010)[edit]

The Chicago Professional Women's Soccer, LLC investor and partner group was the owner of the Chicago Red Stars from 2009–2010 during the team's membership in Women's Professional Soccer. In April 2010, the team's management group consisted of Gary Weaver, Jim Willett, and Arnim Whisler. The Illinois Women's Soccer League (IWSL) also signed on as a partner. In addition to the IWSL, the team's leadership included shareholders John (Jack) Cummins, Robert and Susan Morrison, Jim and Kathi Willett, Dale Weaver, Gary Weaver, Pin Ni, Dong Li, Arnim Whisler, Dean Egerter, Stephen Ritchie and Peter Wilt.[27]

WPSL (2011), WPSL E (2012) and NWSL (2013–present)[edit]

Arnim Whisler was the only investor left after the 2010 season, he decided to keep the team going for the 2011 season in the WPSL while working to help reorganize a professional women's soccer league. WPS.[28]

He remains the owner of the Chicago Red Stars during the inaugural season of the NWSL [29]

Team standing and statistics[edit]


Champions Runners-up


Results of league and cup competitions by season
Season Division P W D L F A Pts Pos League
2009 WPS 20 5 5 10 18 25 20 6th DNQ DNE
2010 WPS 24 7 6 11 21 27 27 6th[a] DNQ DNE
2011 WPSL 10 8 1 1 38 7 25 1st[b][30] Runners-Up[31][32] DNE
2012 WPSL E 14 9 1 4 26 11 28 4th Runners-Up[33] Winners
2013 NWSL 22 8 6 8 32 36 30 6th DNQ DNE

Players and coaches[edit]

Current squad[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of July 5, 2014.[34]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc      Canada
2 Forward Jen Hoy      United States
3 Defender Kecia Morway      United States
4 Midfielder Alyssa Mautz      United States
5 Forward Zakiya Bywaters      United States
6 Defender Abby Erceg      New Zealand
7 Midfielder Shannon Boxx      United States
8 Midfielder Julie Johnston      United States
9 Forward Melissa Tancredi      Canada
10 Midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo      United States
11 Defender Rachel Quon      Canada
13 Defender Michelle Wenino      United States
14 Defender Taryn Hemmings      United States
15 Midfielder Emily van Egmond      Australia
16 Defender Samantha Johnson      United States
17 Midfielder Lori Chalupny      United States
18 Defender Jackie Santacaterina      United States
19 Forward Adriana Leon      Canada
20 Goalkeeper Taylor Vancil      United States
21 Forward Hayley Brock      United States
23 Forward Christen Press      United States
38 Midfielder Julianne Sitch      United States

Head coaches[edit]

The team is currently coached by Rory Dames. Dames was the head coach of the Red Stars in the WPSL and WPSL Elite from 2011–2012. The team's first assistant coach is Stephanie Foster, a former all-time scoring-record-holding player and head coach at Northwestern University. Christian Lavers is second assistant coach. Trae Manny is the team's goalkeeper coach, a role in which he previously served for the Chicago Red Stars in 2012 in the WPSL Elite.[35]

Former notable players[edit]

See also All-time Chicago Red Stars roster

Former members of the team who has represented a senior national team are:


2012 Open Cup Champions

Team Awards[edit]

Year Team MVP Golden Boot[c] Defender of the Year
Winner Goals
2009 Brazil Cristiane Brazil Cristiane 7
2010 United States Ella Masar 8
2011 United States Amanda Cinalli 10
2012 United States Lauren Fowlkes 7
2013[37] United States Lori Chalupny United States Lori Chalupny 5 Germany Sonja Fuss

WPS individual awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In 2010, only 7 teams finished the season.
  2. ^ The Chicago Red Stars competed in the North Division of the Midwest Conference in the WPSL. Six teams were in this division for the 2011 season.
  3. ^ Golden Boot is the team leader in goals (regular season games only).


  1. ^ Red Stars are Back! Joining WPSL for 2011,
  2. ^ "Chicago Red Stars look to succeed where others failed". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Relaunch of WUSA set for spring 2008". ESPN. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Red Stars are born: New team honors flag". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Women's Pro Team Hires McDermott". Chicago Land Soccer News. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Peter Wilt Joins Milwaukee Wave As President, CEO". Our Sports Central. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  7. ^ McCarthy, Jack (2010-04-10). "Red Stars retool for 2nd season". Chicago Tribune. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Equalizer: Red Stars to play in WPSL in 2011,
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ All White Kit, Chicago Red Stars Mark Return, Join WPSL For 2011,
  14. ^ Babcock, Patricia (July 29, 2011). "Red Stars fighting the good fight – for free". The Daily Herald. 
  15. ^ "WPSL Elite". WPSL Elite. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati Announces New Women's League to Begin Play in Spring of 2013". US Soccer. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Chicago Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) franchise named, logo and colors unveiled; Season Tickets on sale Wednesday". Bay Area Sports Drive. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "About Toyota Park". Toyota Park. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ The Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex,
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Red Stars Announce 2012 WPSL Elite Schedule & Season Ticket Packages". Chicago Red Stars. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Staff". Chicago Red Stars (WPS). Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  28. ^ Pitch invasion podcast #6
  29. ^ "Front Office". Chicago Red Stars. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  30. ^ "FOUR TEAMS SET FOR 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND". Women's Premier Soccer League. July 29, 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "FALLING SHORT Waves topple Red Stars in OT". Chicagoland Soccer News. Sports Vue Interactive Media. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "ORANGE COUNTY WAVES 2, CHICAGO RED STARS 1". Women's Premier Soccer League. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH WIN INAUGURAL WPSL ELITE CHAMPIONSHIP". Women's Premier Soccer League. 28 July 2012. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Roster". Chicago Red Stars. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Red Stars Announce 2013 Coaching Staff". Chicago Red Stars. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "Chicago Red Stars Roster". Retrieved 15 January 2010. 
  37. ^ "Red Stars Announce End of Season Team Awards". Chicago Red Stars Site By KMH. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 

External links[edit]