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Friday, April 12

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Red Stars Tue Aug 14 2012

Red Stars Lead Push For New Women's Soccer League

red stars.jpgAfter watching the U.S. Women's National Team win soccer gold in London, you might be wondering whatever happened to professional women's soccer here in Chicago.

Despite several twists and turns in recent years, the Red Stars have kept that torch aflame, reaching the WPSL Elite championship final a few weeks ago before losing on penalty kicks.

But starting next year, they're on the move again, teaming up with fellow former WPS clubs Boston and New Jersey to lead another new league with plans for eight teams.

It will be the third attempt at creating a sustainable women's professional league, following three-season stints by the WUSA (2001-2003) and WPS (2009-2011).

Continue reading this entry »

Colin Hettinger / Comments (1)

Red Stars Wed Jul 06 2011

Red Stars Return for a Brief Home Season

By Veronica Arreola

Women's professional sports has a long history of ups and downs. Women's professional soccer reached its peak in 2000 by riding the wave of Mia Hamm fever and the USA team winning the World Cup in sports bra-baring style. But then the fans did not show up and the Women's United Soccer Association folded in 2003. In 2009, the Women's Professional Soccer League opened shop with a Chicago franchise, the Chicago Red Stars, and played at the beautiful Toyota Park in Bridgeview. They fielded all-star players like Illinoisan Ella Masar and Brazil's Cristiane.

Yet after the 2010 season, the Red Stars had to cease operations due to an inability to meet the league's financial requirements.

But wait! In early 2011, an email was sent to fans that the Red Stars would indeed play in 2011, but would be joining the Women's Premier Soccer League. Despite its name, it is not the top-notch league, but it does have 60 teams with 10 divisions. The second change was that the Red Stars would move from Bridgeport to Lisle and play at Benedictine University.

The last change, the one that is the most drastic for fans, is that only two of their five home games would be open to the public. Last Saturday was the home opener and this Sunday at 6 p.m. will be the home finale. $10 gets you a ticket, free parking and player autographs after the game.

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Soccer Mon Dec 20 2010

Red Stars Become Latest WPS Team to Fall

red stars.jpgLast week, the Chicago Red Stars announced they will suspend operations for the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer season while they pursue additional funding with an eye toward returning in 2012. The loss of the Red Stars and FC Gold Pride, a Bay Area club that won the league championship this year, and the addition of the Western New York Flash leave the WPS with six teams as it approaches its third season.

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Colin Hettinger

Soccer Sat Aug 28 2010

Red Stars Push for the Playoffs

As the sports cliché goes, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish." Maybe somebody should have told the Chicago Red Stars that.

With the Red Stars' latest stumble, a 3-2 defeat to the hands (legs?) of FC Gold Pride last Sunday, the team is 1-6-1 over its past eight matches. While they are not mathematically eliminated from the postseason just yet, their chances to lock up the fourth and final playoff spot are less than stellar.

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Raf Onak

Soccer Wed Aug 04 2010

Red Stars Dethrone Defending Champs

As the Chicago Red Stars (5-8-5) proved Sunday night on the road, all streaks are meant to be broken. Doing so against the defending champion Sky Blue FC makes it all the more rewarding. After succumbing to their last three opponents, the Red Stars finally ended their three-game losing streak at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J., by beating Sky Blue, 2-1.

"Anytime you can get a 'W' on the road, that will give you more confidence," Red Stars Head Coach Omid Namazi said following the match. "It was a big win."

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Raf Onak

Soccer Tue Jul 27 2010

Red Stars Drop Second in a Row

Despite defeating the Boston Breakers (5-6-4) in Massachusetts five weeks prior, the Chicago Red Stars (4-7-5) could not complete the season series sweep as they fell to the Breakers, 3-1, on Sunday at Toyota Park.

Early goals by Breakers forward Kelly Smith set the tone for the remainder of the match as she wasted no time in netting goals in the 9th and 12th minute of play, deflating the Red Stars and the 3,673 fans in attendance. Just two minutes after her second goal, Smith also assisted Ifeoma Dieke's goal to take an overpowering 3-0 lead.

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Raf Onak

Soccer Tue Jun 08 2010

Chicago Red Stars Complete Homestand

Despite dominating possession and outshooting their opponent 16-5, the Chicago Red Stars were held to a scoreless draw against the Atlanta Beat on Sunday at Toyota Park. With the draw, the Red Stars move to 2-4-2 on the season while Atlanta falls to 0-5-2.

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Raf Onak / Comments (1)

Soccer Mon Apr 26 2010

Red Stars Silenced by Defending WPS Champs

The Chicago Red Stars (0-1-2) were given the opportunity to dethrone the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer champions not once, but twice in the team's first three matches of the 2010-11 campaign. Unfortunately, both efforts resulted in a loss with Sky Blue FC (2-0-1) squeezing past the Red Stars, 1-0, on Saturday at Toyota Park after producing the same outcome just two weeks ago in New Jersey.

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Raf Onak

Softball Fri Dec 04 2009

Red Stars, Fire Make Moves

chapman-signing.jpgChicago's pro soccer franchises aren't letting the grass grow under their feet, with both the Red Stars and the First making moves to improve their fortunes for next season.

The Red Stars went across the pond to bring in Arsenal midfielder Katie Chapman, 27, described as a physical player who "handles the brunt of the dirty work". Chapman isn't a stranger to scoring as she booted in a score to help lead Arsenal to a 2-1 win over Sunderland to win the FA Women's Cup on May 4. In 2002, Chapman netted the game-winner for Fulham during a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Doncaster Belles.

pappa.jpgThe Fire, meanwhile, are bringing midfielder Marco Pappa back into the fold following a productive season that saw him appear in all 30 games, racking up five goals and four assists. With the move, Pappa, who was loaned to the Fire from Guatemalan club CSD Municipal, is now under contract to the team until 2012.

Ken Green

Soccer Wed Nov 25 2009

Red Stars' Masar Help Kick Hunger for Thanksgiving

masar-battling-durochik.ashx.jpegThere are always feel-good stories involving professional athletes and the less-fortunate during the holidays and the Red Stars are no exception, particularly their star forward Ella Masar.

Masar, from Urbana, Illinois, took it upon herself to connect with a local community organization after signing with the Stars after being drafted in the second round of the Women's Professional Soccer draft. Her strong religious beliefs led her to the far South Side and the Roseland Christian Ministries where Masar joined others in serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless.

How did Masur connect with the RCM? "When I was looking for a place to share and practice my faith, I wanted to be around genuine believers," said Masar on the Red Stars website. "Roseland Christian Reformed Church is all genuine. I'm so comfortable here."

Lest you think Masar's involvement is one of those photo-op holiday feel-good moments, you should know that she also began attending Wednesday night Bible study and Sunday morning service at RCM's Roseland Christian Reformed Church.

Ken Green

Soccer Fri Jul 31 2009

Red Stars Fade To Black

The Red Stars host their last match of the season this Sunday when they face the L.A. Sol at Toyota Park, and thought their inaugual season didn't result in a playoff appearance, it did include the record-setting play of Christiane (yeah, one name) who recorded the first hat trick in Women's Professional Soccer history. Relive the history below.

Ken Green

Soccer Mon Jul 13 2009

Neat Trick

cristiane-run-celebration-fcgp-durochik.jpgThe Chicago Red Stars' forward Christiane (yeah, that's right, one name) made Women's Professional Soccer league history Sunday night when she recorded the first hat trick ever in the WPS.

Christiane, who hails from Brazil, also recorded the first penalty kick goal in Red Stars franchise history. Her stellar efforts lifted the Red Stars to a 3-1 victory over FC Gold Price and raised their record to 4-6-5. It also marked the first back-to-back wins for the Stars in their young history.

The Red Stars hit the road for two games before returning to Toyota Park on Sunday, July 26 to take on the Washington Freedom.

(Photo by David Durochik from Chicago Red Stars website)

Ken Green

Soccer Mon Jun 22 2009

Red Stars In A Black Hole

red stars logo.jpgThese are tough times for the fledgling Chicago Red Stars of the Womens Professional Soccer league. For teams like the Red Stars, in their inaugural season, leeway is usually given with regards to wins, or the lack thereof. But for the Stars, it's turning into a dire situation.

With their 2-0 loss to the Boston Breakers on Sunday, the Red Stars saw their winless streak extended to eight games and their scoreless streak pushed to three (a run that began with a 0-0 tie against the Washington Freedom). In fact, the Stars (2-5-5) have only won one of their six home games at Toyota Park so far this season, not a fact that is bound to intimidate visiting opponents.

The team will try to correct the situation when they travel west to face the L.A. Sol this Saturday. They next home game is Wednesday, July 1 against the Freedom in Toyota Park. They could probably use your support.

Ken Green

Soccer Wed May 13 2009

Red Stars Seek Bounce Back

Hoping to recover from their first loss of the season, the Chicago Red Stars will take on FC Gold Pride this Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Toyota Park in Bridgeview in Women's Professional Soccer league action.

The Red Stars, 2-1-1 in their inaugural season fell to Sky Blue FC (1-2-2) of New Jersey 2-0 on May 10 at Toyota Park. The Stars only managed three shots on goal and the first one didn't come until the second half. The lackluster performance received a blunt assessment from Red Stars head coach Emma Hayes.

Continue reading this entry »

Ken Green

Soccer Tue Apr 21 2009

Seeing (Red) Stars

inauguralmatchprofilepicture.gifSo far, so good for the Chicago Red Stars of the Women's Professional Soccer league. While not exactly dominating their opponents in their inaugural season, the Stars can at least claim an unblemished record after playing to a scoreless tie against the Sky Blue FC this past Sunday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Previously, the Red Stars defeated St. Louis Athletica 1-0 and played to a 1-1 tie against the Washington Freedom.

Despite the score Sunday night, there were some promising signs, most notably the Red Stars' 18 shots and 4 shots on goal, including a sharp bicycle kick by midfielder Megan Rapinoe. On the defensive side, goaltender Caroline Jonnson stopped all three Sky Blue FC shots on goal for her second perfect game of the season.

The Red Stars home to keep their record clean when they meet the Boston Breakers (2-1) this Saturday at Toyota Park, 7:30 p.m.

Ken Green

Soccer Fri Apr 17 2009

Two Undefeated Teams at Toyota Park This Weekend

Two undefeated records go on the line at Toyota Park this weekend. First, the Chicago Fire face the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night. Avoiding a loss will give them their longest unbeaten start to a season, if you're into that sort of thing. Obviously, in MLS it's not how you play at the start of a season, but how you're playing at playoff time. And the Fire have seen some pretty good starts turn into really bad summers in recent seasons.

Then on Sunday, the Chicago Red Stars will have their home debut where they'll try to extend their 1-0-1 record. They'll also be trying to silence all the doubters that wonder how this league will succeed where other women's professional soccer efforts have failed. One thing they have going for them - the best uniforms of any team in Chicago.

Steve Gillies / Comments (2)

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