CHICAGO — Defender Sarah Gorden has been named the 2020 Chicago Red Stars Humanitarian Award winner, as voted on by fans online. Gorden was nominated for the award alongside teammates Julie Ertz, Kealia Watt, Hannah Davison, and Danielle Colaprico.
Gorden, an Elk Grove native drafted by the Red Stars in the third round of the 2016 NWSL Draft, appeared in nine games total in 2020 after starting all six games she played in during the Challenge Cup and three during the Fall Series. Gorden would tally an impressive average success rate with tackles and duels of 83.6% and 72.7% respectively during both competitions, but it was her work off the pitch that really took the spotlight.
Prior to the Red Stars’ final preliminary round game of the Challenge Cup against Utah Royals FC on July 12th, Gorden announced her #PassItOnCRS Challenge, in which she pledged to donate $5 dollars for every completed pass during the game towards the mental health initiative Get Yo Mind Right Chi. Between her personal donation and donations from teammates, Red Star fans, members of the media, and the women’s soccer community, a total of $15,700 was raised.
Gorden’s efforts to give back to the Black community would continue after the tournament when she launched her nonprofit organization, HoodSpace Chi, in early September. The HoodSpace mission is to promote and prioritize Black mental health awareness, as well as to “help girls of color find their space of flow through yoga, meditation, and sport” as referenced by the organization’s tagline. For more information on Hoodspace, visit their Twitter page or their Instagram.
Gorden has also played an integral role in the club’s voter education and registration initiatives. She introduced the Red Stars to Chicago Votes and worked in tandem with Aerial Chavarin to ensure their teammates were registered, prepared for what would be on the ballot, and had a firm understanding of the historical context of voting.