Chicago has kept just two players from the inaugural year of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in 2013. But one of those has been around before.
Midfielder Alyssa Mautz started her Red Stars journey back in 2012 when she competed in the Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite (WPSL-Elite). Since then, Mautz has brought great strength to the Chicago midfield.
In 2017, Mautz had a breakout year after coming back from Australia. She competed in the Westfield W-League for the first time, playing for Perth Glory.
Finishing the season playing every minute of Glory’s 14 games, Mautz helped lead Perth to its second Grand Final. Unfortunately, Perth fell 2-0 to Melbourne City, ending her abroad stint in second place.
Mautz came back as the most veteran player on the team, logging in over 4,000 minutes since 2013. She earned over 1400 minutes in 2017, the most minutes she has appeared in one season with the Red Stars.
Not shy to scoring, Mautz earned her 10th and 11th goals in her fifth season. The first coming on May 27 against North Carolina.
After conceding a late first-half equalizer, the Red Stars started the second half 1-1. In the 54th minute, Mautz notched a goal to take the final lead of the match. The match eventually ended in a 3-2 victory as the Red Stars became the first team that were able to defeat North Carolina twice.
Her second goal of the season came in a June midweek match up in Seattle. A level game on all fronts, Mautz was able to break to scoreless stalemate minutes before halftime, thanks to a cross by Julie Ertz. Despite the first-half lead, Seattle was awarded two penalty kicks in the second half and capitalized on both, earning them the 2-1 victory.
By midseason, Mautz reached a milestone. On July 22 against Orlando, Mautz played her 100 game for the Red Stars, being the only Chicago player to have earned this feat. Of the current players, Vanessa DiBernardo is the next closest with 85 caps.
The veteran midfielder will enter her sixth season with the NWSL as a Red Stars player and will continue to guide her team to the Finals in 2018.