The Chicago Red Stars will kick off their 2015 campaign at home on April 18th, against the Seattle Reign at Village of Lisle Benedictine University Sports Complex in Lisle, IL
After blowing a chance to make their first playoff appearance, consistency will be key for Rory Dames’ club in 2015. The Red Stars face a tough season ahead, where they could potentially lose eight players to the World Cup. This past offseason, the club lost five players to retirement, including backup goalkeeper Taylor Vancil and veteran defender Jackie Santacaterina.
Danielle Colaprico – The University of Virginia product will provide balance to the Red Stars midfield. Colaprico can play anywhere in the midfield and possesses the ability to be a versatile player. She is also a member of the U-23 U.S. Women’s National Team
Arin Gilliland – The 22-year-old is an athletic defender and has had experience playing on both sides of the ball, during her tenure at the University of Kentucky. Gilliland was selected eighth overall in the 2015 NWSL College Draft.
Sofia Huerta – Huerta establishes a physical presence upfront for the Red Stars. The Santa Clara product was selected 11th overall by the Red Stars in 2015.
Jackie Santacaterina – The 27-year-old defender brought a veteran presence to the Red Stars backline. Santacaterina’s retirement is a big loss to a defense that allowed the second fewest goals against. She made 13 appearances in 2014.
Taylor Vancil– Her retirement has left the Red Stars without an experienced backup goalkeeper. Vancil made three starts in place of Karina LeBlanc last season and was poised to slot into the starting spot while
Overview of last season:
The Red Stars missed out on the playoffs last season, losing in a tiebreaker against the Western New York Flash. Defender Julie Johnston is coming off a campaign in which she won Rookie of the Year and finished a runner-up for Defender of the Year.
World Cup Impact:
Chicago may be hit the hardest of any club during the World Cup. The Red Stars will be without U.S. players Christen Press and Julie Johnston; New Zealand defender Abby Erceg; Canadian players Melissa Tancredi, Karina LeBlanc, Adrianna Leon; and potentially Lori Chalupny and Shannon Boxx who are currently on the fence to crack the USWNT World Cup roster.
With potentially eight players missing, the Red Stars will need to band together as a team. Jen Hoy should see an increase in usage with the absence of Press, Tancredi and Leon. Hoy scored four goals and added three assists in 21 games last season. LeBlanc’s absence leaves the Red Stars will be without a proven NWSL goalkeeper. First year keepers Michele Dalton and Monica Gonyo will fill her place.