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Parkinson, Sitch, and Tanaskovic named 2020 Red Stars Coaching Staff, Lomnicki named Academy Director

CHICAGO — The Chicago Red Stars announced today the additions of Scott Parkinson as the First-Team Assistant Coach, Julianne Sitch as a First-Team Assistant Coach and head coach of the Chicago Red Stars Reserves, Rade Tanaskovic as Goalkeeper Coach and the hiring of Michelle Lomnicki as the Director of the Red Stars Academy. 

“These latest additions reflect our continued commitment to bringing in superb talent while identifying opportunities for former players to move into new careers,” Arnim Whisler, Owner, and CEO of the Chicago Red Stars said. “We are excited about our new additions and wish all the best for those former Red Stars coaches who are moving to new roles at other teams.”

Additionally, the Red Stars announced the 2020 medical staff. Megan Young returns to the Red Stars as the High-Performance Director for her second season. Molly Uyenishi PA-C, MCMS, Bria Wanzung, PT, DPT, ATC, and Megan Blackburn, ATC also return to Chicago’s medical staff.

Emily Glatts returns as the Team Administrator and Player Operations Coordinator for her third season. 

“The Chicago Red Stars truly are a family. We succeed not only based on the talent and dedication of our players and coaches but on the passion and experience of our medical staff and front office,” Rory Dames, Chicago Red Stars Head Coach said. “I’m thrilled to be entering the 2020 season with such a skilled and accomplished group of individuals who align with the club’s vision and culture.” 

“The Red Stars are dedicated to creating an organization that is reflective of our player and fan base,” says Whisler. “We’ve made progress in diversifying our staff and positioning women in opportune roles where they can continue to grow personally and professionally. We know there’s more to be done, and we look forward to challenging ourselves to push these ideals in 2020 and beyond.”

Parkinson comes to the Red Stars after serving as the Assistant Coach of Utah Royals FC for two seasons. He helped the Royals win 19 games in two years, consistently fighting for a playoff appearance during his stint. Previously, he served as the head coach of the Rogers State University women’s soccer program for two years, leading the Hillcats to a runner-up finish in the Heartland Conference Tournament in 2017. 

“I’m extremely honored that Rory and Arnim have trusted me to join their prestigious club,” Parkinson said. “I have never been more excited to start work in my life. Preseason can’t come soon enough for me. To work for one of the most historic and winningest football teams in NWSL history is an absolute honor. I can’t wait to meet up with the staff and players and to integrate myself into the Red Star community. And as for the city of Chicago, it’s seriously my kind of town.”

A former Red Stars player, Sitch’s career on the field spanned 13 seasons. She was a member of the Red Stars during the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season and rejoined Chicago for the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season in 2013. Following her retirement in 2015, Sitch was named an Assistant Coach for the University of Chicago women’s soccer team. She helped the Maroons reach the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship. 

“I am beyond excited to be back with the Red Stars and humbled to be working alongside a knowledgeable staff and talented players,” Sitch said. “I am looking forward to this opportunity to grow as a coach and person doing what I love with great people  I respect and know. I couldn’t be happier to be a Red Star again.”

Rade Tanaskovic returns to the Red Stars coaching staff as the Goalkeeper Coach. Tanaskovic helped the Red Stars reach the 2019 NWSL Championship. Prior to the Red Stars, he coached for 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.

“I am very thankful to be back for another year with the club,” Tanaskovic said. “I am excited to see what this year has in store for all of us. I truly look forward to continuing to work with such a great group of players and coaching staff.”

Another former Chicago player, Lomnicki was a member of the Red Stars during the 2009 WPS Season before joining Sitch on the Red Stars roster for the 2013 NWSL season. She made 40 NWSL appearances for Chicago, ending her professional career with five goals and four assists. She became a Female Assistant Director of youth club Chicago Empire FC following her retirement and won the 2019 ISSA Women in Soccer Award.

“I’m so thrilled to come back to an organization that has been such a big part of my life,” Lomnicki said. “Through my experience as a player with the Red Stars and as a coach for the past 5 years, I know we will be able to create a Red Stars Academy experience that will serve as a stepping stone for players looking to take their game to the next level.”

Young returns to the Red Stars as the High-Performance Director for her second season. Prior to joining the Red Stars in 2019, Young worked for the Auburn University Athletics Department where she was part of the strength and conditioning staff for 11 years. 

Uyenishi returns for her fourth season with the Red Stars. She is nationally certified as a physician assistant by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant.

Wanzung returns for her fifth season with Chicago with experience as a physical therapist and as a facility manager.

 Blackburn is a certified athletic trainer and has been practicing sports medicine who returns for her second season with the team. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training from Trinity International University, where she played two seasons of collegiate soccer.