Chicago Red Stars
Unfortunately, the Red Stars are no more. For coverage of the rest of the league, go to WPS Offside, and if you’re interested in blogging about any of the current WPS teams, go to http://www.theoffside.com/bloggers and fill out an application.
My name’s Tom, and I’m a Red Stars fan (to keep in with the Red Stars marketing video campaign). Yeah, that’s me, the first person in the video — wearing a Chicago Fire hat (!) and a Local 134/Red Stars scarf (Local 134 are the Red Stars independent supporters group).
(By the way, that video took more than one take, given I’m not a morning person and I’d driven what felt like a million miles to meet with Red Stars staff and their star player, Carli Lloyd, to present her with a Local 134 scarf.)
I’ve been following the Red Stars closely since before they had a name (my vote in their name-the-team-poll went to the Stinking Onions, but c’est la vie), and it’s about time I started blogging about it too. Like many Fire fans, my interest in the Red Stars was first piqued by the looming presence of former Fire GM and President Peter Wilt in the founding of the team. I was further intrigued by their smart decision to hire Emma Hayes away from Arsenal Ladies as Head Coach, Emma being one of the smartest people I’ve talked to soccer about, and have been further impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the rest of their staff so far. I’ve been around soccer teams a while, and the openness of the Red Stars is quite refreshing.
It’s fascinating that some of the best women’s players in the history of the game will soon be passing through the gates of Toyota Park. Someone high up in the reaches of WPS told me the other day that the Red Stars might be putting together the best team in the history of women’s soccer if they sign Brazil’s Cristiane and their other international picks, England’s Karen Carney (Arsenal Ladies), Australia’s Heather Garriock, and Sweden’s Caroline Jonsson to go alongside USWNT players Carli Lloyd, Lyndsey Tarpley and Kate Markgraf.
In addition, the Red Stars have since picked up England’s Alex Scott from Arsenal (noticing a trend there?), Spain’s Laura Del Rio, and in the general draft last week, Danesha Adams, Ella Masar, Marian Dalmy, and Ifeoma Dieke. Though my women’s soccer knowledge isn’t up to commenting on those picks.
But all of a sudden, the Red Stars have the basis of a team, and a pretty damn promising one. Of course, as the old, sorry cliche goes, football isn’t played on paper, it’s played on grass (at least at Toyota Park), and we’ll see many twists when the season gets underway next year. But it’s been quite a start so far for us Red Stars fans.