CHICAGO — The Red Stars’ path to the 2019 NWSL Championship was filled with plenty of memorable moments, beginning in Chicago with the 2019 NWSL College Draft on January 10, 2019. 

Coming off their fourth consecutive semifinal appearance Chicago managed to get the top overall pick and welcomed a U.S. WNT budding star and a future World Cup champion with their selection of Stanford’s Tierna Davidson. 

Davidson was fresh off winning 2018 U.S. Soccer’s Young Player of the year after she made multiple appearances with the national team and was the first player since Julie Foudy in 1994 to play 90 minutes in each of her first five senior international caps.

“With some of my teammates on the U.S. Women’s National Team playing in Chicago, they definitely gave me a lot of great advice and told me about the inner workings and culture of the team,” Davidson said after getting drafted by Chicago. “They welcomed me in very well, and I’m just that much more excited to join the Red Stars and be surrounded by some of the best competition in the NWSL to grow in every part of my game.”

Davidson would become an impact player for Chicago in her first year in the NWSL. The defender would start in 14 games while playing 1,174 minutes. Her first league goal would be a long-distance rocket against Orlando. Davidson also played a major role defensively, teaming up with fellow U.S. WNT star Julie Ertz in the Chicago backline to allow a mere two goals in through six games, including a shutout against Portland in the NWSL semifinal to send the Red Stars to their first-ever NWSL Championship. 

Davidson wasn’t the only international talent Chicago added through the draft. Mexico’s Maria Sanchez was selected in the second round. She played in seven games in her rookie campaign with the Red Stars. 

The Red Stars would continue their addition of local talent to the roster with the additions of defenders Kayla Sharples and Hannah Davison from Northwestern in the later rounds, adding some needed depth to a roster that would eventually be championship bound.

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