Red Stars Captain Will Finish NWSL Season With Chicago
CHICAGO (August 17, 2015)- Chicago captain and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Lori Chalupny announced her retirement from international play on Monday afternoon. Chalupny, who was first capped for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the age of 17, has won nearly every title that the game has to offer and feels that the time is right to step away from playing internationally. Chalupny, who was 104 international caps, will finish the 2015 NWSL season with the Chicago Red Stars, and then make a decision for future seasons.
“Winning the World Cup was definitely a big part to do with my decision. I think winning and ending my career on a World Cup victory, it doesn’t get much better than that. I think the time was right,” Chalupny said.
Chalupny, a St. Louis native, was a standout on U.S. Youth National Teams at various age levels, culminating in winning the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in 2002. She played out her collegiate years at the University of North Carolina, winning the 2003 NCAA title in her sophomore year.
The midfielder has featured for three teams in two professional leagues in the United States. Chalupny captained her hometown team, St. Louis Athletica, in the second reincarnation of a women’s professional league in the U.S., Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). She also was a member of the Atlanta Beat in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. She joined the Chicago Red Stars in 2012, competing in the semi-profession league WPSL Elite and remained with the club when they joined NWSL in 2013.
Chalupny made her debut for the senior U.S. Women’s National Team in 2001 in a match against Italy and scored her first goal in May of 2004 against Mexico. In the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup she started all six U.S. games in a campaign that saw the Americans finish third. The midfielder played four matches in the 2008 Summer Olympics and scored in the semifinal against Japan. Chalupny and the U.S. team won the gold medal in Beijing.
A history of concussions forced Chalupny to be sidelined from U.S. National Team duty from 2009 until she was called in to camp in December 2014. One of the highlights of Chalupny’s return to international play was playing in front her hometown in St. Louis at Busch Stadium in April of this year.
“I mean that day was just incredible, it’s just kind of one of those days that goes down for me as one of the best days of my life. To play in front of my hometown, at Busch Stadium, and to get in and score a goal, you know, it’s like the perfect day.”
The midfielder said that playing with the Red Stars was integral to earning her way back on to the national team, “The Red Stars kept my dream of playing with the national team alive. Without them I wouldn’t have had a place to go. I think having successful seasons and being able to get noticed by coaches again was kind of what sparked my journey back to the national team.
“Lori has been one of the greatest players to ever represent the Red Stars, both on and off the field,” said Red Stars General Manager Alyse LaHue. “Seeing her success with Chicago and then having it finally pay off after a long journey back to the National Team has been simply amazing to watch and we couldn’t have wished for it for a better player and person.”
At the close of the NWSL season, the Red Stars captain plans to go back to St. Louis to spend time with her family and start her third year as an assistant coach at Maryville University, during which time she will determine her future as a professional soccer player.