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Chicago Red Stars 2010 Season Preview

Chicago Red Stars
2009: 5-10-5, 20 pts.; sixth place regular season (missed playoffs)

Head Coach: Emma Hayes

Key Players: Cristiane, Karen Carney, Megan Rapinoe, Kate Markgraf, Casey Nogueira, Formiga

Star Watch: Cristiane – The Brazilian was the team’s leading scorer (7 goals) and main source of life in 2009, and she will be expected to continue that form in 2010.  Coach Emma Hayes said that Cristiane should be fit from the start of 2010, which is a big difference from her slow start in 2009.

X-Factor: Kosovare Asllani – The 20-year-old Swedish striker has been doing well in preseason for the Red Stars and her success will be critical to the Red Stars scoring more than the 18 goals (in 20 games) that they scored in 2009.  Cristiane will need help up top and it seems that Hayes is convinced that Asllani is the one who can provide it.

To say the Red Stars struggled in 2009 would be an understatement.  At one point, Chicago went on a miserable scoring drought of 451 minutes.  Now, the theme in the Windy City seems to center around new beginnings in 2010.  U.S. internationals Lindsay Tarpley and Carli Lloyd have departed Chicago after disappointing seasons, and Hayes seems ready to prove that she and her team have learned from their mistakes in 2009.  Cristiane is one of the best forwards in the league and should receive a good amount of help from Ella Masar and Karen Carney.  Formiga will also need to show that she can dictate Chicago’s central midfield.

The defense should look different for Chicago in 2010 after giving up 25 goals in 2009 (a goal differential of -7).  Kate Markgraf is back from her pregnancy and surely ready to prove that she still has what it takes to be a world-class defender.  Markgraf’s leadership will be critical to this team.  She will be paired with young-gun Whitney Engen, widely considered the best defender in this year’s rookie class.  Those two will most likely make up the center back duo, which will play in front of goalkeeper Jillian Loyden, who was acquired in the trade for Tarpley.  Many questions from 2009 remain to be answered in Chicago, but there has been great remodeling of the team for 2010.  Sunday’s match against Sky Blue FC will serve as a great measuring stick.

No., Player, Position, Date of Birth (Age), Hometown; Last Club/College

1. Jillian Loyden, GK, 6/25/85 (24), Vineland, N.J.; Saint Louis Athletica / Villanova University
2. Marian Dalmy, D, 11/25/84 (25), Lakewood, Colo.; — / Santa Clara University
3. Ella Masar, F, 4/3/86 (23), Urbana, Ill.; Washington Freedom (W-League) / Univ. of Illinois
4. Ifeoma Dieke, D, 2/25/81 (29), Glasgow, Scotland; Kristianstad DFF / Florida International Univ.
6. Brittany Klein, M, 10/29/86 (23), Arcadia, Calif.; Pali Blues / Santa Clara University
7. Megan Rapinoe, M, 7/5/85 (24), Redding, Calif.; — / University of Portland
8. Formiga, M, 3/3/78 (32), Sao Paulo, Brazil; FC Gold Pride / —
9. Whitney Engen, D, 11/27/87 (22), Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.; — / University of North Carolina
10. Kosovare Asllani, F, 7/29/89 (20), Kristianstad, Sweden; Linkopings FC / —
11. Cristiane, F, 5/15/85 (24), Osasco, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santos FC / —
13. Natalie Spilger, D, 5/19/82 (27), El Cajon, Calif.; Balinge IF Uppsala / Stanford University
14. Karen Carney, M, 8/1/87 (22), Birmingham, England; Arsenal / —
15. Kate Markgraf, D, 8/23/76 (33), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; KIF Orebro / University of Notre Dame
17. Katie Chapman, M, 6/15/82 (27), London, England; Arsenal / —
18. Kelsey Davis, GK, 5/14/87 (22), Thousand Oaks, Calif.; — / University of Portland
22. Jessica McDonald, F, 2/28/88 (22), Glendale, Ariz.; — / University of North Carolina
27. Casey Nogueira, F, 2/23/89 (21), Raleigh, N.C.; — / University of North Carolina
38. Julianne Sitch, M, 9/18/83 (26), Oswego, Ill.; Sky Blue FC / DePaul University

No., Player, Position, Date of Birth (Age), Hometown; Last Club/College

19. Michele Weissenhofer, F, 8/18/87 (22), Naperville, Ill.; — / University of Notre Dame
21. Lydia Vandenbergh, D, 1/2/84 (26), Pisgah Forest, N.C.; — / Clemson University
23. Meghann Burke, GK, 10/11/80 (29), Saint Louis, Mo.; Boston Renegades / Saint Louis Univ.
25. Jackie Santacaterina, M, 12/29/87 (22), Geneva, Ill.; — / University of Illinois


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