The dust is still settling and official confirmations still need to be made, but one thing is certain: the Chicago Red Stars will have a very different look in 2018.
This would have been the case even if the only news we had for you today was Chicago’s slew of promising selections in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. (Our CRS editor Sandra Herrera will have all the details on that, plus a full report on the ground in Philadelphia, later tonight.) The incoming class of draftees all look to provide, at the very least, needed cover at some key positions.
But then news of the monster trade hit the wires.
As part of a huge three-way deal, the Red Stars sent star USWNT striker Christen Press to the Houston Dash. They temporarily gained fellow WNT-er Carli Lloyd and Janine Beckie. Chicago THEN sent both players to Sky Blue FC in exchange for Australia international Sam Kerr (yes, really) and Nikki Stanton. SBFC will also be getting a Player To Be Named Later from Chicago, and word on the street is it will either be Arin Gilliland or Danielle Colaprico. [UPDATE (1/19/17): Per the club’s official announcement, that PTBNL is in fact forward Jen Hoy.]
Ok, let’s all catch our breaths here.
The big news is that Christen Press is gone, finally getting the move away that has been rumored for months and that, by some accounts, she’s been pushing for at least a couple seasons.
Rory Dames on Christen Press: "Christen and I together had run our course." Says she asked to leave and he agreed, decision was mutual.— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) January 18, 2018
In exchange, the Red Stars are getting one of the best strikers in the league.
I think there are two forwards in the #NWSL better than Christen Press.— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) January 18, 2018
Sam Kerr is one of them.
Red Stars fans will no doubt feel conflicted about the move. That’s to be expected. As Sandra noted, feeling devastated that Press is gone and excited about the rest of the deal are not mutually exclusive.
We’ll have more on this as details go public and other possible deals are moved through. Suffice it to say: for better or worse, your 2018 Chicago Red Stars are going to seem like an entirely new team. It will, on paper at least, still be a playoff contender. But there’s a lot still up in the air, and a lot of unanswered questions.
Welcome to preseason, my friends.