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Why Mal Swanson signed a historic contract with Chicago Red Stars

The five-year deal (a new NWSL maximum) keeps the USWNT star as a centerpiece of Chicago’s rebuild

Photo Copyright Chris Jones for USA TODAY Sports

After a tumultuous draft day, the Chicago Red Stars wasted no time in securing a big part of their rebuild, re-signing U.S. women’s national team forward Mallory Swanson to a historic five-year contract. Swanson’s contract is historic not only in terms of length — the previous National Women’s Soccer League maximum contract length was three years with an option year — but the contract will make Swanson the highest paid player in the NWSL, according to sources familiar with the deal who could not disclose an exact number.

“It’s an honor and I’m just blessed and grateful that the ownership group and the leadership group, the front office, see me as a player that they can continue to support,” Swanson told The Equalizer. “I’m just super excited and excited for not only this season, but the future of what the Red Stars are going to build.”

This offseason was Swanson’s first foray into free agency and having the control to choose where she wanted to play. Swanson took advantage of this control and explored other options. “I wanted to make it clear to people that just because Dansby was in Chicago, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay in Chicago,” she said.

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