Chicago Red Stars coach Chris Petrucelli will not return to lead the team in 2024, the club announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Petrucelli assumed the role last February, succeeding Rory Dames, who stepped down in November 2021 amid complaints of verbal and emotional abuse during his tenure.
- The Red Stars currently sit last in the 2023 NWSL standings with a 7-11-3 (W-L-D) record. Petrucelli led Chicago to a 9-7-6 mark and sixth-place finish in his first season at the helm.
- Assistant Ella Masar will serve as interim head coach for the team’s regular-season finale against the OL Reign on Sunday.
Chicago was eliminated from playoff contention this season after a 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Current on Saturday.
Petrucelli, previously a long-time college coach, joined the club as it was still reeling from the departure of Dames just a few months before Petrucelli’s appointment. In August, the team was dealt the heavy blow of losing star U.S. forward Mallory Swanson after she tore her patellar tendon in her left knee during an international friendly against Ireland.
The Red Stars have been under new ownership since Sept. 1, when a Laura Ricketts-led group of business owners finalized the purchase of the club for a final bid totaling $60 million. Ricketts is also a co-owner of MLB’s Chicago Cubs and a minority owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
In the immediate aftermath of the Sally Yates report last year, players issued an open letter making clear they supported the removal of Arnim Whisler, the club’s former majority owner, from the organization. The players said they “look forward to finding a new majority owner who can help us realize the full potential that we as players always knew existed for this club.”
What they’re saying
“We appreciate Chris’s service as coach, especially during this ownership transition, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Ricketts said in a release Tuesday.
(Photo: Daniel Bartel / USA Today)