Goalkeeper Vancil originally drafted by Chicago in 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. – Red Stars goalkeeper Taylor Vancil has announced her retirement from professional soccer, two years after being originally drafted by the club. A backup to world-class netminders in both of her National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) campaigns, Vancil has accumulated nine total appearances at the highest domestic level and has become known for her work ethic and team spirit.
Recent Red Stars draft pick Nicole Setterlund also will not be joining the Chicago preseason camp, as the Canadian youth international has opted against a professional career due to concussion issues.
University of Louisville and Florida State alum Vancil was the starter for the USA in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, leading the team to a second-place finish. She was selected by the Red Stars in the third round of the inaugural NWSL College Draft and made her NWSL debut on May 24, 2013, against Western New York Flash, working the full 90 minutes. A backup to Canadian star Erin McLeod, Vancil would go on to make a total of six appearances over the course of the campaign.
The talented shot-stopper found herself in a similar situation in 2014, as she played in three matches for Chicago while primarily providing cover for another legendary Canucks goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc. As time went on, Vancil developed an interest in exploring possible opportunities away from the pitch. – “something to do with helping people and perhaps working with younger kids,” as she put it.
The former USA youth international added, “Soccer has been my life since I was four years old and it has been such a joy for that length of time. In reflecting and talking to people, I’ve just come to realize that there are a lot of other things that I’m passionate about, so I’d like to work toward pursuing some of those things to see where else I could go.
“My time with the Red Stars has been amazing and I’m very grateful to (club owner) Arnim (Whisler), (GM) Alyse (LaHue) and everyone else involved. My teammates were absolutely wonderful. There are no other teams in the league I would have wanted to play for and no better people to play with. Everything we went through together in my two years helped me grow as a person. I appreciate every second of it.”
Chicago Assistant and Goalkeeper Coach Trae Manny has followed Vancil’s career for a number of years, as she played for local youth club Eclipse Select from 2005 to 2008.
“Taylor has been a real asset to the Red Stars, both on and off the field,” offered Manny. “As a player who developed and came through Illinois youth soccer, she has proven it’s possible for female players in this area to reach the highest level through hard work and dedication. Taylor was the consummate professional during her two seasons with Chicago and consistently produced when called upon, including some spectacular moments.
“Off the field, she has been a fantastic ambassador who has embodied the club’s values perfectly and given a lot back to the community.”
The 2015 Red Stars campaign kicks off on April 18 with the team’s big NWSL home opener against Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo and current Shield holders Seattle Reign FC. Single-game and season tickets may be purchased by calling 773-698-6001 or by clicking here.