The Chicago Red Stars Twitter page kicked off some dust last week and today a press release was sent out that made it official: the Chicago Red Stars will be playing soccer in 2011. Red Stars fans will have to get use to the WPSL not the WPL. WPSL stands for the Women's Premier Soccer League and should not be confused with Women's Professional Soccer, the league the Red Stars participated in for the 2009 and 2010 season. The ultimate goal of CRS is to return to the WPL for the 2012 season but this is the plan for now. More information after the break.
The Red Stars will be coached by Eclipse Select Soccer Club's Director of Coaching and Player Development, Rory Dames. Dames is a Chicago native and former standout at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Ill. He will lead a roster that consists of former Atlanta Beat and St. Louis Athletica forward Amanda Cinalli (a Notre Dame alumna); Geneva, Ill., native and 2010 Red Stars midfielder Jackie Santacaterina (a University of Illinois alumna); Elk Grove, Ill., native and 2010 Red Stars defender Elise Weber (Notre Dame); Naperville, Ill., native and 2010 Red Stars forward Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame); Aurora, Ill., native and 2011 All-Big East Conference First Team midfielder Bri Rodriguez (West Virginia); former Chicago Red Eleven midfielder and current Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) women's assistant coach Kara Kabellis; and Batavia, Ill., native and recent University of Illinois defender Julie Ewing.
Co-Owner Arnium Whisler promised the roster selection has just started and commented:
We will have familiar Red Stars players and other WPS players from last season to field the best women's soccer team between the coasts. The roster will also have some of the most exciting young players on the U.S. Women's National Team's U-23 roster, and several college all-stars and future professionals. We can't wait to see the Chicago Red Stars on the field again.
The WPSL was founded in 1998 and today consists of 60-plus-teams in the United States. It is the largest women's soccer league in the world. The league is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation. The WPSL's mission is to provide the highest level of soccer, bring affordable and quality family entertainment to the community, display positive role models for youth and provide a stepping stone for aspiring professional and international-level players.
This wasn't plan A for the Red Stars but we wish them well in the 2011 season. It's good to see the team moving on.