CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars will kick off their 2014 National Women’s Soccer League season hosting Western New York Flash on Saturday, April 19, at 5:45pm CT in a doubleheader with MLS-side Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.
The Red Stars, led by team captain Lori Chalupny, are anchored by former Portland Thorns and Canadian Women’s National Team goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, as well standouts from Chicago’s 2013 season including Jen Hoy, Adriana Leon, Michelle Wenino, and Alyssa Mautz. Mautz, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, netted a goal in each preseason match for the Red Stars this season.
Chicago is also bringing a roster full of young talent including NWSL College Draft selections, and U-20 World Cup champions, Julie Johnston and Vanessa DiBernardo, as well as University of Maryland forward Hayley Brock. All three of Chicago’s draft class members are expected to have starting spots in Saturday’s lineup.
“This is a great first game for the team,” said Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames. ”Last year’s matches against Western New York were intense battles. They are a strong team so we’ll know after the final whistle where we stand heading into this season. Our group is in good form, and well ahead of where we were this time last season. Our team is ready to play.”
Earlier this year, Chicago was allocated United States Women’s National Team forward Christen Press, and signed Canadian Women’s National Team forward Melissa Tancredi via a trade with expansion team Houston Dash. Press, who is finishing out her season with Tyresö FF in Sweden, and Tancredi , who is completing chiropractic school, are both expected to join the squad in June.
Western New York Flash opened up its 2014 NWSL season last weekend with a 3-1 win over the Washington Spirit. Flash international Vicky Losada, who was named last weekend’s NWSL Player of the Week, had a hand in all three of WNY’s goals, finishing with two goals and an assist on the night. Flash captain and world leading-scorer, Abby Wambach was sidelined for last week’s match against Washington due to a facial injury sustained in the USA vs. China match on April 10. Wambach is listed as doubtful for this weekend’s game against the Red Stars, but fellow USWNT star Carli Lloyd is expected to feature in the match.
Tickets for the Red Stars/Fire doubleheader are still available by calling 773.697.8699 or visiting www.chicagoredstars.com.
The Red Stars will return to their home stadium, the Village of Lisle Benedictine University Sports Complex on Saturday, April 26, when they take on Ali Krieger and the Washington Spirit at 7pm CT.
Social Media Hashtag for Game Day:
2014 CHICAGO RED STARS ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Karina LeBlanc* (Portland Thorns FC), Taylor Vancil (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (6): Taryn Hemmings (Chicago Red Stars), Samantha Johnson (USC), Kecia Morway (Colorado College), Rachel Quon* (Chicago Red Stars), Jackie Santacaterina (Chicago Red Stars), Michelle Wenino (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx*^ (Chicago Red Stars), Zakiya Bywaters (Chicago Red Stars), Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Vanessa DiBernardo (Univ. of Illinois), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars), Julianne Sitch (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (5): Hayley Brock (Univ. of Maryland), Jen Hoy (Chicago Red Stars), Adriana Leon* (Chicago Red Stars), Christen Press*^ (Tyresö FF), Melissa Tancredi*^ (Dolsjofors GolF)
• * = 2014 Allocated Player
• ^ = Will join team later in season
ATHLETICO INJURY REPORT
OUT: Taryn Hemmings (Left ACL reconstruction)
PROBABLE: Jackie Santacaterina (Right Hip arthroscopy)