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, who replaced Rory Dams in November 2021, was the subject of complaints of verbal and emotional abuse last February. The Red Stars sit last in the 2023 NWSL standings with a 7-11-3 (WLD) record. Petrucelli led Chicago to a 9-7-6 finish and a sixth-place finish in his first season. Assistant Ella Massar will serve as the interim head coach for the team’s regular season finale against OL Reign on Sunday.
Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs after a 6-3 loss to Kansas City on Saturday.
Petrucelli, a former longtime college coach, joined the club just months before Petrucelli’s appointment as he was reeling from his departure from the Dems. The team was hit hard by the loss of star player Mallory Swanson after she tore the patellar tendon in her left knee during an international friendly against Ireland in August.
The Red Stars have been under new ownership since September 1 when a group of business owners led by Laura Ricketts completed the purchase of the club for a total of $60 million in a final bid. Ricketts is a co-owner of the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and a minority owner of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.
At the same time as Sally Yates’ report last year, the players issued an open letter in support of the club’s former majority owner Arnim Whistler’s removal from the organisation. “We as players are always looking forward to finding a new majority owner who will help us realize the full potential we know we have for this club,” the players said.
What are they saying?
“We appreciate Chris’ coaching services, especially during this ownership transition, and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Ricketts said in a release Tuesday.
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(Photo: Daniel Bartel / USA Today)