WPS Chicago Red Stars Announce Opening Day Roster

John HowellAnalyst IApril 1, 2010

Bridgeview, Ill. -- The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced their 18-player first team roster, in addition to four developmental players.

Entering the 2010 WPS season, of the team's 22 players, nine return from last season's roster, all of whom saw playing time during the Red Stars' inaugural campaign.

With only half of the first team returning, the Red Stars will have a significantly different look in 2010.

Leading the returning group is Brazilian forward Cristiane, who scored a team-high seven goals and posted the only hat trick in WPS history last year, and was a WPS All-Star.

Along with Cristiane, the Red Stars return all three of their 2009 WPS All-Stars—the others being midfielder Megan Rapinoe and midfielder Brittany Klein.

Also returning are first team defenders Natalie Spilger and Marian Dalmy, who was called up for US WNT action last season. 

An Illinois native and Illini alum, forward Ella Masar will also be back in Chicago blue.

Lydia Vandenbergh, who saw some playing time last season, will also be back, but on the developmental roster.

Center defensive back Kate Markgraf, who missed last season while on maternity leave, will make her long-awaited Red Stars debut this year.

In addition to Cristiane, returning internationals include England's Karen Carney at midfield, Scottish defender Ifeome Dieke, and Irish national Jessica McDonald.

Domestic players new to the Red Stars this season include Whitney Engen, defender from University of North Carolina. She was the Red Stars' first draft pick and the first defender taken in draft. She comes to Chicago with UNC teammate, forward Casey Nogueira, who is also expected to make an impact.

Jill Loyden will start in goal as a result of a trade with St. Louis for midfielder Lindsay Tarpley.

Midfielder Julianne Sitch, an Oswego, IL native, signed with the Red Stars in the offseason, filling the hole in the lineup left by midfielder and US Women's National Team member Carli Lloyd. Sitch, who spent the league's inaugural season on the Sky Blue FC side, and Lloyd traded places, as Lloyd signed with Sky Blue, returning to her home state, and her alma mater Rutgers, where Sky Blue plays their home matches.  

Also, at goal, Kelsey Davis arrives in the Windy City to join her former University of Portland teammate Megan Rapinoe.

New to the roster this season from abroad will be England native and midfielder Katie Chapman and Brazilian native and midfielder Formiga. Sweden native and forward Kosovare Asllani joins Chicago's front-line attack.

Representing Chicago's western suburbs on the Red Stars' developmental roster are Naperville, IL native Michele Weissenhofer and Geneva, IL native Jackie Santacaterina, along with Meghan Burke who played with the W-League Boston Renegades last season, and Vandenbergh.

In addition to Tarpley and Lloyd, also not returning from last season's first team is keeper Caroline Jonsson, forward Freida Ostberg, both Swedish internationals, and Chama Igwe, who saw regular action as a defender.

The Red Stars open their 2010 WPS season on Sunday, Apr. 11, when they travel to Piscataway, N.J., to face the defending WPS champion Sky Blue FC. The scheduling gods have seen fit to start the season with Lloyd and Sitch facing off against their former clubs, which should add some additional drama to the contest. The match starts at 5 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel.

Chicago's home opener takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 17, when the Red Stars host Saint Louis Athletica at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.


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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