Ella Masar's first appearance in a Chicago Red Stars home game came on Apr. 26 versus the Boston Breakers.
The entire University of Illinois women's soccer team (her former teammates) was present to cheer her on. She was subbed in later in the second half, but played as if she were a starter, and every time she touched the ball, her sister Illini would chant, "Ella, Ella, Ella!"
Of course, the chanting was contagious, and before long, much of the crowd was joining them.
Since then, Ella Masar has continued to make her mark on her WPS team, including several starting and key substitution assignments.
While out with an injury for the past several weeks, Masar was able to log a minute of playing time at the end of Chicago's first win since Apr. 26, on July 1, versus Washington Freedom.
Ironically, Ella played for the Freedom last season in the W-League. (It is a little known fact outside of Washington that this team and a significant portion of its roster has remained together since the team was put together for the now defunct WUSA.)
Ella helped Washington finish first in the league's Northeast Divisioin, logging three goals on the season.
As an international, like many of her sister Red Stars, Masar played a role in the US National U23 Team's success in the 2008 Nordic Cup competition. She scored two goals in a 3-0 victory over Germany for the Cup. She appeared in a total of seven games in 2008, scoring four goals and recording an assist.
Masar also played 12 games with the U21 National Team scoring two goals and an assist.
At the University of Illinois, Ella was named All-Big Ten first team and Lowe's All-American first team as a senior in 2007. She compiled a total of 12 goals and three assists as a senior, ending her collegiate career with the second highest number of assists in Illinois' history (20) and tied in fourth place for goals, with 27.
As a Junior, she was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and NSCAA Second Team All-American in 2006.
At Urbana (IL) High School, Masar holds the record for most goals in a season (40) and career (92).
Like many Red Stars, Masar cites her faith as a key factor in her life, stating in her team website interview that her Bible (along with a toothbrush and her iPod) is something she can never travel without.
Ella says she knew she wanted to be a professional football player in fifth grade, when she played (American) football with the boys at her school, playing "All Time" Quarterback.
"I knew at those moments when I would throw a 20 yard touchdown pass and feel the adrenaline of the celebration, that I wanted to be a pro. Now of course at that moment I did not realize that I could not play American football but, hey, futbol still worked out in the end."
Masar says her brother was a big influence on her life and her soccer career. "He is someone I have always respected and admired not only on the field but off as well. As much as I don’t want to admit it, he is the player I always try to emulate the most."
When asked what is the minimum she would have to achieve to feel she is a success at her career, Ella answered, "The simple fact that I get to play the thing I love the most every day is enough for me to know that regardless of what happens I have and will be successful in my life."
Masar says that after soccer she wants to have a family. She comes from a large family herself and wants to have "lots of little ones running around." She also expresses a desire to work with inner city kids as a volunteer.
The greatest moment in Ella Masar's soccer career thus far: "Standing on the St. Louis’s field in the starting line up in the inaugural game of our season wearing a Chicago Red Stars jersey. I realized at that moment that everything I have been through had been worth it. The extra hours, the surgeries, the traveling that took me away from my family, the sacrifices made that moment possible. I was where I was supposed to be."
Note: No photo due to technical difficulties. Check back for one soon.