Chicago Red Stars
The Chicago Red Stars is an American professional soccer club based in Chicago, competing in the National Women's Soccer League, who play their home games in SeatGeek Stadium. The team was a founding member of Women's Professional Soccer, and played in the league in 2009 and 2010. 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. In 2012, the team competed in Women's Premier Soccer League Elite, the single year this league existed. Since 2013, the team has been competing in National Women's Soccer League.
|Full name||Chicago Red Stars|
|President and owner||Arnim Whisler|
|Head coach||Rory Dames|
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)Edit
In 2006, it was announced that Chicago would have a team in a new league being developed for women's professional soccer. It would eventually join six other teams, 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.
On June 3, 2008, the "Red Stars" name was announced in a ceremony 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, Union, Blues, 1871 and Wind. "Red Stars" was chosen by popular vote in a two-month fan ballot.
2009 inaugural seasonEdit
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.
The Red Stars opened up their second season with high hopes and many new faces. 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.
Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL)Edit
Red Stars joined the Women's Premier Soccer League for 2011. They played their home games at Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex 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 players announced included three players with WPS experience, including two from the Red Stars' 2010 squad. It was coached by Rory Dames, a Chicago native. Red Stars also continued their activity in the Chicago soccer community through their soccer camp programs.
Red Stars finished the regular season with a 10–1 record, and hosted the playoff semifinals and championship matches. While they beat Tampa Bay Hellenic 2–1 in their semifinal, they lost by the same score in the final to the Orange County Waves, another WPSL team that has past WPS connections.
Women's Premier Soccer League Elite (WPSLE)Edit
In 2012, Red Stars joined two other former WPS clubs, Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash, in the new WPSL Elite League. Five other former WPSL teams joined the league, including ASA Chesapeake Charge, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, New York Fury, and Philadelphia Fever.
Red Stars finished fourth in the league, making the playoffs and advanced to the final, where they lost to Flash in a 2–4 penalty shootout, after a 1–1 draw at the end of extra time. Impressively, the Red Stars also won the 2012 National Women's Cup with just half the roster, as the Cup final occurred at the same time as their final WPSL Elite regular season match against eventual third-placed 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. The league started competition in Spring of 2013.
In the inaugural season of NWSL, Red Stars started with 2 draws and 4 losses. The mid-season arrival of 2 Germans, Sonja Fuss and Inka Grings, from Europe revived the team somewhat, but not enough to qualify for the post-season playoffs. Red Stars played 22 matches with 8 wins, 6 ties and 8 losses to finish the season at sixth place in an eight team league.
In 2014, Red Stars finished one place better than previous season, in fifth place in regular season. This season, the club was waiting for United States international Christen Press to join after completing her commitment to a European club, and the Canadian international Melissa Tancredi to gain full fitness after her education. In addition, the team signed 2 other internationals, Abby Erceg and Emily van Egmond in May. Despite the late arrival of international stars, at the end of May the team had 6 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses; a competitive team performance enabled by rookies Julie Johnston, Vanessa DiBernardo, Hayley Brock, young players Jen Hoy, Rachel Quon, and veteran stalwarts Lori Chalupny, Michelle Wenino, and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. With a mid-season slump of 1 win in 11 matches during June and July, the team eventually did not qualify for post-season playoffs; edged out by head to head results with Washington Spirit.
The Red Stars started the 2015 season with home games, a 3–2 win over previous season's Supporting Shield winner Seattle Reign FC, followed by a 2–2 draw with Portland Thorns FC, and a 1–0 win over Sky Blue FC. With Christen Press scoring 4 of the first 5 goals for Red Stars, Press was named the Player of the Month of April. With the national teams members out training for 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, rookie Sofia Huerta scored multiple goals in 2 matches and was named NWSL Player of the Week for week 5, as well as week 6; and was also named NWSL Player of the Month of June. The team held first place during regular season from week 4 to week 13 and finished second. However, in the playoff the team lost in the semi-final to FC Kansas City.
After a banner 2015 season, the team expected to do well again. The club ended the regular season at third place, and played the play-off semi-final at Boyds, Maryland against Washington Spirit on September 30, falling 2–1 and did not reach the championship match. This season the Red Stars returned to Toyota Park for its home games, where it last played on a regular basis during its 2010 season in Women's Professional Soccer league.
In 2017, for the third consecutive season, the Red Stars made it to the post-season playoffs and was eliminated in the semi-final; falling 1–0 to North Carolina Courage at Cary, North Carolina on an 89-minute goal.
Crest and colorsEdit
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)
Adrenalin, Inc., and jlmvisual partnered to jointly develop the Red Stars identity.
During the team's membership in Women's Professional Soccer, Chicago Red Stars played at SeatGeek Stadium, a world-class soccer-specific stadium, with 20,000 dedicated seats for soccer. It is best known as the home of Chicago Fire Soccer Club.
From 2011 to 2015, in Women's Premier Soccer League, Women's Premier Soccer League Elite league and National Women's Soccer League, Red Stars played their matches at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. The university stadium seats 3,000. In 2012 season, in the WPSL-Elite league, some matches were played at Concordia University Chicago Athletic Complex in River Forest, Illinois  as well as the Lakeside Athletic Field at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois due to renovation construction at Benectine University.
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.
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.
He remains the owner of the Chicago Red Stars during the inaugural season of the NWSL 
As of 2017, Red Stars games are streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers. As part of a three-year agreement with A&E Networks, Lifetime broadcasts one NWSL Game of the Week on Saturday afternoons. The Red Stars will be featured in the nationally televised Game of the Week on May 6, June 17, July 22, September 23 and 30, 2017.
Team standing and statisticsEdit
|2012||WPSL E||14||9||1||4||26||11||28||4th||Runners-Up ||Winners|
Players and coachesEdit
Top All Time Scorers (NWSL)Edit
Bold denotes player is active on Chicago Red Stars roster.
Former notable playersEdit
See also All-time Chicago Red Stars roster
Former members of the team who have represented a senior national team are:
|Year||League||Team MVP||Golden Boot![c]||Defender of the Year||Reference|
|2013||NWSL||Lori Chalupny||Lori Chalupny||5||Sonja Fuss|||
|2014||NWSL||Lori Chalupny||Christen Press||6||Julie Johnston|||
|2015||NWSL||Christen Press||Christen Press||10||Julie Johnston|||
|2016||NWSL||Christen Press||Christen Press||8||Julie Johnston|||
|2017||NWSL||Julie Ertz||Christen Press||11||Casey Short|
WPS individual awardsEdit
- In 2010, only 7 teams finished the season.
- 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.
- Golden Boot is the team leader in goals (regular season games only).
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- http://pitchinvasion.net/blog/2012/07/13/pitch-invasion-podcast-episode-6/ Pitch invasion podcast #6
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- "NWSL, go90 announce exclusive streaming partnership". Black and Red United (SBNation). Vox Media. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "Lifetime To Air National Women's Soccer League Games As A+E Networks Kicks In For Equity Stake". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
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- "FOUR TEAMS SET FOR 2011 CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND". Women's Premier Soccer League. July 29, 2011. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
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