Rory Dames will be entering his ninth season at the helm of the Red Stars, after leading them to two league finals and a USASA’s National Women’s Cup triumph in 2012. The past four seasons Dames has guided the team to playoff contention and is looking to capture the title in 2019.
Dames also serves as the Director of Coaching and Player Development for Chicago’s Eclipse Select Soccer Club, which consisted of three teams when the Illinois native took over in 1996 and today boasts over 50 male and female teams with more than 750 players ranging from ages 8-19.
Dames has led Eclipse Select to many accomplishments over the past ten years, including being recognized as the top girls soccer club in the nation by Soccer America in 2007 and 2008, as well as by NationalSoccerRanking.com in 2007. Over the years, Dames has lead the club to eight national championships, six national finals, eleven regional championships, 17 UYSA MRL championships and 37 Illinois State Cup championships.
Born and raised in Chicagoland, the Red Stars Head Coach played his high school soccer at St. Viator in Arlington Heights until graduating in 1991. Next, he went on to star for St. Louis University, winning several conference championships and making an appearance in the NCAA Final Four. Dames then joined the Rockford Raptors for one professional season.
After his college career, Dames went on to coach not only Eclipse Select but also his high school alma mater. He would serve as Varsity Girls Head Coach at St. Viator for eight seasons (1997-2005) and guide his teams to seven conference championships and seven regional titles. Dames made five trips to the Elite Eight during his tenure at St. Viator, winning three state championships.
The man in charge of the Red Stars continues his work at the youth level, having turned Eclipse Select into one of the best known and most respected girls clubs in the nation. He also serves as the ID2 National Girls Director. Dames currently resides in Antioch, Illinois.
Craig Harrington will be entering his second season with the Chicago Red Stars as an assistant coach.
Originally from Middlesex, England, Harrington played club soccer with Oxford United FC and Swindon Town FC Academy.
Harrington started his coaching career in 2010, acting as a Head Coach in the youth academy of MLS’s LA Galaxy. Harrington led the Under-16 team to the 2011-12 USSDA SoCal Division Championship, as well as having 12 players being called in to either the U-15 or U-17 U.S. National Team camp. While with LA Galaxy, Harrington was part of the club’s staff that won consecutive MLS Cup titles (2011, 2012).
Leaving LA Galaxy after three seasons, Harrington became Technical Director of the Turks and Caicos Islands National Team ahead of the 2014 Carribean Cup Qualifying. He was able to take the National Team to their highest-ever place in the FIFA rankings, jumping 27 spots in five months. He left the position in 2016.
Harrington holds a U.S. Soccer Federation ‘A’ License.
Gary Curneen will be entering his second season with the Chicago Red Stars as an assistant coach.
Originally from Omagh, Northern Ireland, Curneen played collegiately at Wingate University in North Carolina, helping lead the men’s soccer team to their first-ever NCAA Division II playoff berth.
Taking his playing talents to the coaching side, Curneen served as Head Coach for his alma mater’s women’s soccer program, leading the team to a 95-48-8 record during his nine seasons. Before coaching the women’s side, he acted as Assistant Coach for Wingate’s men’s program for two seasons. After Wingate, Curneen was the women’s soccer Assistant Coach at University of Cincinnati in 2013.
Most recently, Curneen was the women’s soccer Head Coach at California State University Bakersfield. After a successful 2016 season where the team placed second in league standings with a 4-2-1 conference record, he was named 2016 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Coach of the Year.
In addition to his vast coaching experience, Curneen is the author of ‘The Modern Soccer Coach’ series, helping educate and provide tools for coaches to learn and grow. Curneen holds a UEFA ‘A’ License from the Irish FA and a Premier Diploma from the NSCAA.
Rade Tanaskovic (pronounced Rah-day Tah-NAS-KOV-itch) enters his first season as the goalkeeper coach for the Chicago Red Stars. Tanaskovic is coming from the University of Iowa where he was primarily in charge of the goalkeepers. Over two seasons, Tanaskovic coached the goalkeeping unit to 14 shutouts and 17 wins. In his first season, the Hawkeyes returned to the Big Ten Tournament for the first time in three years.
Prior to coaching the Hawkeyes, Tanaskovic spent time coaching collegiately with Louisville, Columbus State and Emmanuel College. At Louisville, the team earned 15 wins in two seasons and his starting goalkeeper, Taylor Bucklin, earned All-ACC selection.
Before jumping to the collegiate ranks he coached for FC Red Star, formerly ŽFK LASK, a club in Serbia’s top-level league, the Prva ženska liga.
Tanaskovic has also worked with the U.S. Soccer Federation over the past few years. Most recently he was a part of the coaching staff with U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team. Tanaskovic continued to work with rising stars at some youth training centers in the Atlanta and Cincinnati areas and has continued working with U.S. Soccer scouting for various age groups. He was the ODP South Region Goalkeeping Director.
Strength & Conditioning Coach
Evan Johnson enters his second season with the Chicago Red Stars and is in charge of all strength and conditioning protocols for the team.
Johnson, previously with Northwestern University as a Sports Science Consultant, has a strong background in strength and conditioning throughout the college level.
Johnson holds is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a Masters in Education.
WPSL Reserves Head Coach
Brian Kibler, previously an assistant coach with the first-team, took over as head coach for the Red Stars Reserves who compete in the WPSL. In his first year as head coach with the Reserves, Kibler led the team to the North Conference title, finishing with a 9-0-1 record and a 35 point goal differential. The team made it to the WPSL Playoffs in Pasadena, Texas, but lost in the semifinals.
With over 20 years of experience coaching, Kibler and currently the Director of Player Development and Programming for Eclipse Select S.C., Kibler has been a prominent youth coach in Illinois since 1995. Kibler currently holds a USSF “A” License, NCSAA Advanced National Diploma and USSF “Fitness 1” License.