Tatumn Milazzo, an Orland Park native, shows off the Red Stars' new kit during a media day event in Chicago last Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Tatumn Milazzo, an Orland Park native, shows off the Red Stars' new kit during a media day event in Chicago last Thursday. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: New-look Red Stars ready to open season

Spread the love

By Jeff Vorva
Staff writer

No Rory Dames.

No Julie Ertz.

No Sarah Gorden.

No Katie Johnson.

A lot of familiar faces will be missing when the 2022 Chicago Red Stars’ open the NWSL season on Saturday against Louisville, with the match scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

There is a host of new players and rookies to mix in with some of the veterans still around, including national team star goalie Alyssa Naehar, goal-scoring machine Mallory Pugh and longtime Red Stars standout Vanessa DeBernardo.

First-year coach Chris Petrucelli is going to have quite a diverse array of players from a team that NWSL playoff runner-up in 2019 and 2021 (the 2020 playoff was wiped out by the pandemic).

“We have veterans and a bunch of newbies, which is kind of a good dynamic to have,” veteran defender Arin Wright said. “We have people who know a lot about the league, and we have some people who are eager to learn and are excited to be here. That creates a conducive environment.

“With a new coach, we are trying to find a new identity. Chris has come in and he hasn’t tried to shake too many things up, and he’s letting things unfold slowly. We have a good working relationship with him. We’re at a good place and we’re going in the right direction.

“There comes a time when you have to reinvent yourself.”

That time is now.

One veteran the Red Stars were counting on for leadership but will miss 2022 because of injury is defender Tierna Davidson, a player who is also on the U.S. national team.

Local star and defender Tatumn Milazzo from Orland Park is in her second season and could almost be considered an old-timer given the team’s turnover since last season. She was around last year, working her way from a reserve to a starter, and knows how tough it was to finish in second place to Washington for the title.

“We were so close [to a championship] last year and we’re just trying to get it this year,” she said.

“We haven’t brought the city a championship and that’s something we are striving for,” added defender Kayla Sharples. “We’re working hard for that.”

The team’s new kit features a jersey sponsored by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and has a skyscraper theme.

“We want to reach for the sky, reach the stars and break the ceiling,” Milazzo said.

Vicky Lynch, the Red Stars chief business officer, is pumped up because season ticket sales at this point are “skyrocketing,” she said. Lynch did not have an official number of tickets sold, but estimated it’s close to 1,000, whereas in the past it was only a few hundred.

“It means a lot to have a lot of fans in the stadium,” Milazzo said. “It motivates us and we want to put on a good performance for the fans.”

One of the home dates the Red Stars are looking forward to is July 30, when they face the new San Diego Wave as a part of a doubleheader with the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

“It’s definitely a mark on the calendar for us,” said Sharples, a Naperville native. “In a million years, I would have never thought we would play in Soldier Field. That’s really incredible.

“I’m excited to be able to play in the city. We are Chicago. We’re a Chicago team and to be playing in a fantastic stadium with the lights, the lake, the skyscrapers … it’s going to be great.”

Dames, who stepped down a day after the NWSL title game and before the publication of a Washington Post article in which he was alleged to have verbally abused players, is gone after a lengthy tenure. Many teams in the league had problems with player/coach relationships in 2021, leadng to the postponement of games while the league rebooted to put plans in place for improvement.

The Red Stars put their own plans in place this offseason to enable players to communicate with management if any problems should arise.

“That’s something that is needed,” DeBernardo said. “The players need to feel they are supported.”

ARIN AND SON scaled

Red Stars veteran Arin Wright and her son, Grady, take part in the media day event last week. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Challenge Cup over for Stars

The Red Stars dropped a 2-1 decision at Kansas City on April 24 and did not qualify for the semifinals of the NWSL Challenge Cup, an exhibition series that lasted all of April and will spill into the regular NWSL season.

Bianca St. Georges scored in the 51st minute — two minutes after KC scored. The home team triumphed thanks to a Kristen Hamilton goal in the 76th minute.

The Red Stars finished 2-2-2, winning two against Houston, losing two against Kansas City and tying two with Louisville.

 

Fire II ties Philly

The Chicago Fire II team is still winless but picked up its second tie of the season with a 3-3 draw against the Philadelphia Union II on April 24 in an MLS NEXT Pro game at SeatGeek Stadium.

They earned another point with a 5-4 shootout win.

Chinonso Offor scored a pair of goals including a header during stoppage time to help the Fire II earn the tie.

Chicago’s (0-3-2, 3 points) next game is against Minnesota United FC II on May 8 in Bridgeview.

Local News

Richards won its own regional on Feb.4 behind the efforts of Katie Barr (from left), Natalie Stahulak, Mia Montes, Ulyssa Garcia, Laurin Jacobs, Kylie Schaefer, Andrea Abarca, Yasmine Maali, seen here with head coach Ed Fink and assistant coach Brian Waight. The Bulldogs advanced to the Oswego East Sectional. Photo by Mike Walsh

Girls Bowling | Richards wins regional; Shepard’s Kahlen Ranson rolls to individual title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Screaming and cheering parents and friends expressing their staunch support for their bowlers. Teammates fervently hoping for an opportunity to advance to sectional competition next weekend. For good measure, not one but two gender-reveal parties getting ready to begin a few lanes away. Quite a vibrant atmosphere for a…

Sandburg's competitive cheerleaders perform Saturday in the IHSA finals in Bloomington. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Cheerleading State Finals: Sandburg takes fourth behind conference rivals

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer BLOOMINGTON — Sandburg’s competitive cheerleaders finished fourth in a state finals competition that looked a lot like a SouthWest Suburban Conference meet. At least it did for the Large Team division competition, in which the top five finishers hail from the SWSC. The 2023 state finals were held…

Nazareth's quest for a state championship starts on Tuesday. Nazareth photo

Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth girls clinch conference crown with win over Carmel

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Nazareth’s girls basketball team is eyeing a Class 3A state championship after finishing second to Carmel a season ago. The Roadrunners whipped the Corsairs, 48-24, Feb. 4 to win the East Suburban Catholic Conference for the second straight year. It marked coach Ed Stritzel’s 400th career victory. Nazareth…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Bowling | Reavis wins second straight regional crown; Argo’s Sara Flynn take indie title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Two years, two consecutive regional championships for Reavis’ girls bowling team. The Rams made it back-to-back titles in an impressive manner, topping the 13-team field at the Reavis Regional with a pinfall total of 4847, topping second-place Argo (4684) by 163 pins at Palos Lanes in Palos Hills Reavis…

Promoter Katie Goggin discusses the Countryside Summer Concert series. She has to book acts well in advance. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside plans summer concert series, bluegrass festival

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It might be winter, but it’s never too soon to talk about summertime music. Such was the case Jan. 11 when the Countryside City Council’s Special Events Committee heard from promoter Katie Goggin regarding the city’s annual Summer Concert Series. The committee also heard about the second annual Bluegrass and Brews Festival…

Newly elected Judge Nick Kantas gives the oath of office to Senator Mike Porfirio. (Supplied photos)

Porfirio resigns township post to take Senate seat

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Mike Porfirio is now a state senator and the Township of Lyons Board of Trustees has a vacancy. Porfirio submitted his resignation as a trustee, which was accepted by the board at its Jan. 10 meeting. Porfirio was elected to the Illinois Senate in November, and was sworn in as…

Deputy Police Chief David DeLeshe (left) and McCook Mayor Terrance Carr said the new drone will help investigate crimes. It can also be used to find hot spots in fires. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Drone takes McCook crime fighting to new level

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The McCook Police Department has a new weapon to fight crime. A new drone equipped with an infrared camera and the ability to zoom in 200 times was at the village’s latest board meeting on Jan. 17. The village used part of a $50,000 grant from the Secretary of State’s…

CRRNH_CathSchoolsWeekOLS_020823

Super Hero fun at Our Lady of the Snows

Spread the love

Spread the love Catholic Schools Week was plenty of fun this year at Our Lady of the Snows School, as students were encouraged to dress as a super hero. Parents interested in checking out the school, 4810 S. Leamington, for 2023-24 are encouraged to call (773) 735-4810. – Supplied photo

Ray Hanania

System is rigged against regular folks

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Ray Hanania Consumers are reeling over massive increases in Nicor Gas costs, and they can’t get answers because the system is rigged against them. Nicor Gas is owned by a massive conglomerate called Southern Gas, which has four gas subsidiaries serving 4.2 million customers. Nicor is the largest serving 2.2 million…

new lane configuration 2-6-23

Tri-State lane closures start Monday as area ramps prepare to reopen

Spread the love

Spread the loveOvernight lane closures are scheduled next week to shift traffic on Interstate 55 and on the northbound Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) between Willow Springs Road and Plainfield Road and reopen the ramp connecting northbound I-294 to southbound I-55 and Wolf Road. On Monday, February 6, beginning at 9 p.m. and continuing until 5…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
CAPITOL RECAP: Supreme Court ruling strengthens internet privacy law

CAPITOL RECAP: Supreme Court ruling strengthens internet privacy law

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in a handful of…

Pritzker announces $40 million grant program to promote development-ready ‘megasites’

Pritzker announces $40 million grant program to promote development-ready ‘megasites’

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced the creation of a $40 million grant program to incentivize the creation of large development-ready areas known as “megasites” across the state. Megasites are large swaths of land, developed to attract businesses such as manufacturing plants, warehouses and distribution centers.…

Illinois’ biometric privacy law strengthened by latest high court ruling

Illinois’ biometric privacy law strengthened by latest high court ruling

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – People who’ve been subject to fingerprinting, face or retinal scans as either employees or customers of Illinois companies have five years to file lawsuits if they believe the business violated a stringent state privacy law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled this week. It’s the latest in…

Pritzker seeks more info on AP African American Studies course

Pritzker seeks more info on AP African American Studies course

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker this week asked the College Board for more information about its reasoning for changing the final framework of a new Advanced Placement course in African American studies after it had been criticized by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Although we are pleased to…

Report pushes for greater focus on teacher recruitment and retention amid shortages

Report pushes for greater focus on teacher recruitment and retention amid shortages

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools are still grappling with a teacher shortage that seems to only be getting worse, a recent survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools shows. This mirrors the state’s own data, which shows Illinois’ teacher shortage is at the highest level in…

Illinois’ COVID-19 disaster proclamation to end in May

Illinois’ COVID-19 disaster proclamation to end in May

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol news Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Exactly 38 months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, Illinois will no longer be under a disaster proclamation as of May 11, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday. That’s the same day President Joe Biden will end the national public health emergency, which…

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun lawsuit restraining order remains in place

CAPITOL RECAP: Gun lawsuit restraining order remains in place

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD — A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only to the 800…

Appellate court upholds restraining order on assault weapons ban

Appellate court upholds restraining order on assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois’ new assault weapons ban from being enforced will remain in place after a divided state appellate court panel’s ruling Tuesday. The restraining order was issued Jan. 20 by Effingham County Circuit Judge Joshua Morrison, but it applies only…

Tony Sanders to become state superintendent of education

Tony Sanders to become state superintendent of education

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced Tuesday that Elgin-based School District U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders will become the next state superintendent of education. Sanders, 53, will succeed Carmen Ayala, who announced in November that she would retire effective Jan. 31. ISBE said Sanders will take…

Amid ‘unprecedented’ prolonged revenue boom, state finds budget breathing room

Amid ‘unprecedented’ prolonged revenue boom, state finds budget breathing room

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Sustained higher-than-predicted state tax revenues have in recent months given lawmakers a level of budgeting flexibility that is, at least in modern times, without precedent in a state with a reputation for perilous finances. For the current fiscal year and the one before it, that’s led…

House Ad Subscription2
Regional Aurelios Pizza House Ad