2015 World Cup champion captained Chicago for four seasons
Chicago – The Chicago Red Stars announced today that they will retire club legend and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Lori Chalupny’s number 17 jersey at the Saturday, July 30, home game against FC Kansas City, which will kick off at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. The ceremony will honor the former Chicago captain’s four-year career with Head Coach Rory Dames’ team, over the course of which she became a fan favorite by virtue of her gritty, skillful play and her leadership on and off the field.
Chalupny began her professional career by lacing up for for hometown outfit Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) from 2009 to 2010, followed by a two-year stint with domestic rivals Atlanta Beat. Following the collapse of WPS, she joined the Red Stars during their days as an amateur side in the Women’s Premier Soccer League – Elite (WPSL-E), helping lead the team to the league final, before joining Sweden’s AIK Fotboll Dam for a brief stint that same year. With the advent of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the U.S. ace made her triumphant return to Chicago in 2013 and would go on to captain the club for three consecutive seasons.
In her first year back with the Red Stars, Chalupny was named to the NWSL Best XI and finished third in the Most Valuable Player voting despite missing the final month of the campaign with an ankle injury. In 2014, the defender-midfielder then took Team MVP honors after starting in 22 games and leading Chicago in minutes played, followed by her final season in the Windy City, in which she helped her side to its first ever playoff appearance at the professional level. Over the course of her three years with the Red Stars in the NWSL, Chalupny scored eleven goals and tallied seven assists.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel earned her first cap with the senior U.S. squad in 2001, and she would be a fixture for the next nine years to come, earning 92 appearances and wearing the captain’s armband on several occasions. Chalupny started for the Stars and Stripes in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, scoring the winner against Nigeria at the group stage and finding the net again during a rout of Norway in the third-place game. The following year, Chalupny helped the U.S. win gold at the Beijing Olympics, contributing a goal in the semifinal victory over Japan.
In 2009, the then 25-year-old had her international career put on hold due to concussion issues. After subsequently displaying model professionalism at the club level, she was finally cleared to make her return to U.S. camp in December 2014, and she would go on to earn a spot on Jill Ellis’ 20-player roster that went on to win the 2015 World Cup. In the lead-up to the tournament, Chalupny earned her 100th cap for her country in a May 10, 2015, friendly match against Ireland, becoming only the 32nd player in history to do so.
The ceremony to retire the Red Stars icon’s number 17 jersey will take place during the July 30 fixture against defending NWSL champions FC Kansas City. Individual and season tickets for the 2016 campaign at Toyota Park in Bridgeview may be purchased by visiting www.chicagoredstars.com/tickets or by calling 773-697-8699.