Longtime Red Stars star Julie Ertz is one of the players traded earlier this month. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Sports Analysis: Red Stars in a state of flux after trades
By Jeff Vorva
The next coach of the Chicago Red Stars will have his or her work cut out for them.
After two straight runner-up finishes in the NWSL playoffs, the team appeared to have been maybe a player or two away from getting over the hump and winning a championship.
Then, shortly after the Red Stars lost a 2-1 overtime decision to Washington on Nov. 20, coach Rory Dames resigned. Shortly after that was a damning story that came out in the Washington Post alleging Dames was verbally abusive to Red Stars players. Dames was also the team’s general manager.
The Red Stars announced a series of roster moves on Dec. 2 that has some big names leaving, including Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden. The Red Stars will receive roster protection for those still on the team in advance of the NSWL expansion draft.
One could say this team is in shambles.
Or, one could say the team is parting ways with players who wanted their ways to be parted, and the remainder of the roster features players who seemingly still want to be here.
The San Diego Wave and Angel City FC are coming in 2022, and next Thursday will be plucking unprotected players from NWSL teams’ rosters in the expansion draft.
According to a Red Stars news release, the team “reluctantly” shipped Ertz and Gorden to Angel City.
Ertz is an Olympian who was only able to play in a portion of one game for the Red Stars this year because of injuries. The Red Stars have been her only NWSL team and she has been a face of the franchise in recent seasons.
Gorden, a defender, played every minute of every game for the Red Stars in 2021 and requested a trade for personal reasons.
“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity the Chicago Red Stars have given me,” she said in a news release. “When I was drafted by the club in 2016, they took a chance on a local Chicago kid and from there have helped me grow to the player I am today.”
Katie Johnson and Makenzy Doniak requested trades and they will head to San Diego. The team also parted ways with 2021 draft pick Kelsey Turnbow in the deal.
In another trade, the team dealt Nicole Stanton to OL Reign FC, per her request, for a third-round draft pick.
As it did with the resignation of Dame, the club issued a statement as a whole rather than attaching anyone’s name to it.
“While it is always difficult to say goodbye to players who have given their all to the club, we wanted to accommodate personal requests for relocations, while also removing the stress of the upcoming expansion draft for the remainder of our roster,” the statement said. “After such a long season we wanted to provide additional time for players to rest emotionally without the worry of being unprotected.
“This also allows us to shift focus to building out the roster to make another championship run.”
That sounds logical.
While the roster is changing fast, there is still some strong talent that remains. Goalie Alyssa Naeher, forward Kealia Watt, defender Casey Krueger, forward Mallory Pugh, midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo, midfielder Morgan Gautrat, Orland Park’s Tatumn Milazzo, midfielder Danielle Colaprico and defender Tierna Davidson were big parts of the 2021 team who are still with the team.
Is this team in disarray?
At this juncture, it’s easy to say that.
But once a coach is named and the rest of the roster is filled out that could change, eventually.
Orland Park to add 7 names during Memorial Day ceremony
The Orland Park community is invited to join the village this Memorial Day in remembrance of those who have given their lives for our country. The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 30, at the village’s memorial, Ara Pace – Place of Peace, located outside of Village Hall at 14700 S.…
Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title
By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…
Pro soccer report: Pugh tallies twice return in Red Stars’ win over Orlando
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mallory Pugh gave a sample of what could be a big 2022 season when she scored four goals in the exhibition Challenge Cup series. But the Red Stars scoring threat missed the first two games of the NWSL season with an injury, and the team split decisions against Louisville and…
New ward map OKed
Reflects Madigan’s power By Tim Hadac The City Council this week approved a new ward map that, among other things, will see all of Clearing and most of Garfield Ridge shifted to the 13th Ward. Midway International Airport also would shift from the 23rd Ward to the 13th. Monday’s 43-7 vote means the issue will…
Area Sports Roundup: Sandburg takes 2nd at Bajenski tourney
By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…
Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…
Gov’t. meddling may kill scientific research
By Walter G. Copan Bureaucrats are debating whether to take away patent rights on Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug, from its manufacturer. Activists have complained that the medicine’s price is too high. They argue that because the molecule behind the drug originated in a research lab that received federal funding, the government has the power…
The Census Bureau owes us answers
By Rich Miller Illinois peaked at 27 U.S. House seats after the 1910 Census and subsequent reapportionment. That lasted until the 1940 Census, when Illinois dropped to 26 seats in Congress. We’ve been steadily losing ground ever since. It’s not that we lost population, it’s that other states in the West and the South grew…
Pop’s to celebrate National Italian Beef Day with week of specials
Palos Heights-based Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage is beefing up May this year with a week-long celebration of National Italian Beef Day at each of their locations. As part of the celebrations, Pop’s is hosting an interactive contest on their Facebook page during the week of National Italian Beef Day from Monday, May 23, through…
‘Small Island, Big Song’ workshops enrich classroom learning at MVCC
From staff reports Coming from some of the smallest islands in the world, performers from “Small Island, Big Song” talked about climate change, indigenous cultures and island history from their homelands to students in select sociology and geography classes at Moraine Valley Community College last month. The group performed their musical and spoken word endeavor…
Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…
11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…
Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…
ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…
CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday, May 19, suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial census…
Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial…
Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has resumed participation in the federal Title X family planning program after refusing to take part for the past three years in protest over a Trump administration policy regarding abortion services. Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that the state has been awarded $5.4 million…
Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFILED – Owners of firearms that do not have serial numbers – referred to as ghost guns – will have 180 days to take them to a federal firearm dealer to have them serialized or they will risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the…
What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved
By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Amid a campaign season in which every constitutional office and seat in the Illinois General Assembly will be up for vote, rising crime and a landmark criminal justice reform passed in 2021 have become dominant topics for Republicans trying to loosen Democrats’ hold on state government.…
Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The cost of renovating the north wing of the Illinois Statehouse will be more expensive than officials initially estimated. Only one bid came in for the project, which is about to get underway. CORE Construction Services of Illinois Inc. priced the job at $243.5 million, well…