The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced the list of U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) player allocations. The Chicago Red Stars have a total of four players: Christen Press, Casey Short, Julie Ertz, and Alyssa Naeher. All players were with the USWNT in Texas minus Ertz.
Chicago Red Stars’ captain Christen Press has 85 caps and 41 goals for the USWNT. Commonly talked about as one of the best strikers on the national team, her skills and talents have been transferable at the club level. In 2016, Press racked up 8 goals in 14 just appearances, which included a late equalizer against the Washington Spirit in the semifinal where they eventually fell 2-1.
26-year-old Casey Short just made her NWSL debut in 2016. After playing for Florida State, Short was picked up by the Boston Breakers in the first round of the inaugural 2013 NWSL draft. An ACL tear ended her season with the Breakers and was picked up by Chicago in 2014 before sustaining another ACL injury. In 2015 she played for Norwegian club Avaldsnes IL in the Toppserien league. Short started every game in 2016 and even scored two goals before receiving a call up to the USWNT. Since her international debut last October, Short has received 8 caps.
Julie Ertz has been a central part of the Red Stars’ backline since 2014. Both of Ertz’s goals came in 2014, but that doesn’t mean she effortlessly move the backline forward to help with the attack. She only played 7 games in 2016 due to a recurring hip injury and national team duties. Ertz made her first appearance with the USWNT in February 2013 as a sub for Becky Sauerbrunn. Since then, she’s been an excellent centerback partner with Sauerbrunn especially in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which was said to be the best defense of the tournament.
Alyssa Naeher is another new addition to the Chicago Red Stars in 2016, and she played 14 games. She came to the team through a trade with the Boston Breakers for defender Whitney Engen. Naeher is known for her solid and sturdy goalkeeping which was awarded in 2014 when she was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for her 106 saves over 24 games. For the USWNT, she has received 13 caps since 2014 and also was the backup goalkeeper for the 2016 Rio Olympics.