CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars announced today their final roster for the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League season. The team, led by head coach Rory Dames, is anchored by 30-year-old veteran captain Lori Chalupny and 34-year-old Canadian Women’s National Team veteran Karina LeBlanc.
Head Coach Rory Dames returns to his second NWSL season with the Red Stars. Dames, who joined Chicago in 2011, led the team to two league finals and the U.S. Cup National Championship in 2012. Dames is supported by first assistant/goalkeeper coach Trae Manny, as well second assistant Christian Lavers.
Karina LeBlanc, who the Red Stars acquired in a trade with defending champions Portland Thorns FC in January, ranked second in the NWSL last season amongst goalkeepers with 92 saves, and is a seasoned veteran of the Canadian National Team. In 2012, LeBlanc earned her 100th career cap with Canada and won a bronze medal at the London Olympic games. She has played in all three women’s professional leagues in the United States.
This season the Red Stars were allocated up-and-coming U.S. National Team forward Christen Press, who will be joining the squad after her Swedish club team’s Champions League run this Spring. Press, a 25-year-old Palos Verdes, CA native was the first American to win the Golden Boot in Damallsvenskan with 23 goals. The Red Stars, earlier this year, also traded for 32-year-old Canadian National Team veteran Melissa Tancredi, who will be making her NWSL debut after completing chiropractic school in June.
The Red Stars again signed all three NWSL College draftees this year, continuing to build on its core of young talent. This year’s class includes U.S. U-20 champions Vanessa DiBernardo and Julie Johnston, as well as University of Maryland forward Hayley Brock.
The Red Stars have also announced today the signing of two trialists: Kecia Morway from Colorado College and Samantha Johnson from the University of Southern California.
Morway, a 22-year-old Lake Villa, Illinois native, was team co-captain for the Colorado College Tigers in 2013. She was just one of six Tigers to start all 22 games that season, and ranked second on the team with 2,058 minutes played. Morway was named to the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I All-Central Region third team and earned second-team all-Conference USA honors.
Johnson, a 22-year-old Palmdale, California native, was a forward with the University of Southern California, and played for the Trojans from 2009-2012. During her senior season Johnson collected All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Pac-12 Player of the Week accolades. As a junior, Johnson started all 20 games for the squad, scoring two goals that season.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Karina LeBlanc* (Portland Thorns FC), Taylor Vancil (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Taryn Hemmings (Chicago Red Stars), Samantha Johnson (USC), Kecia Morway (Colorado College), Rachel Quon* (Chicago Red Stars), Jackie Santacaterina (Chicago Red Stars), Michelle Wenino (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx* (Chicago Red Stars), Zakiya Bywaters (Chicago Red Stars), Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Vanessa DiBernardo (Univ. of Illinois), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars), Julianne Sitch (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (5): Hayley Brock (Univ. of Maryland), Jen Hoy (Chicago Red Stars), Adriana Leon* (Chicago Red Stars), Christen Press* (Tyresö FF), Melissa Tancredi* (Dolsjofors GolF)
* = 2014 Allocated Player
The Red Stars open their NWSL 2014 regular season schedule against Western New York Flash on April 19 at 5:45pm CT at Toyota Park, following a 3pm CT match between MLS sides Chicago Fire and New England Revolution. For tickets, or for more information of the remainder of Chicago’s schedule, please visit chicagoredstars.com/tickets.