Weight of Red Stars’ impending sale is unavoidable for players

The last-place Red Stars are in a period of transition that extends from the field to the front office.

SHARE Weight of Red Stars’ impending sale is unavoidable for players
The Red Stars have a lot of work to do if they want to move anywhere up the table, let alone earn one of the six playoff spots.

The Red Stars have a lot of work to do if they want to move anywhere up the table, let alone earn one of the six playoff spots.

Chicago Red Stars/Gretchen Schneider

The Red Stars aren’t concerned about being in last place in the NWSL.

Or at least that’s how they felt before giving up three goals in a loss then 11th-place Racing Louisville, who have since jumped the table to eighth, for their third straight loss Friday night.

Their 1-5-1 record marks one of the worst starts in franchise history. Still, the Red Stars assert that they aren’t worried.

Wondering how that could be possible when circumstances seem dire? They know the NWSL table can be flipped. All it takes is a couple of streaks.

“[Standings change] so quick,” Ella Stevens said. “It’s not getting too low if you’re not in a great spot and not getting too high if you’re at the top of the table.”

The Red Stars have a lot of work to do if they want to move anywhere up the table, let alone earn one of the six playoff spots.

They’ve dealt with an almost complete overhaul, and the results have reflected their search for an identity. While they’re looking to reestablish themselves outside of what past Red Stars teams have accomplished, they know that they also must refer back to take the right step forward.

“There are plenty of players on the team that are part of the past,” coach Chris Petrucelli said. “You can’t discount it. You can’t forget about it. It’s there, and we know it’s there. But it’s a different team. There’s a new team every year and a new season every year. Each team gets to write its own story, and we’re just in Chapter 1.”

The Red Stars’ first chapter of the season also includes the uncertainty of an impending new owner.

Red Stars majority owner Arnim Whisler began the process of selling the team, which is one of the league’s original eight. The sale came at the request of the players via a statement that read in part, “We 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.”

The club is still looking at bids, and conversations regarding the sale are being kept at a high level. But the weight of the sale is unavoidable for the players.

“It’s an interesting time for us,” Petrucelli said. “We are in transition. But we’re not quite sure what that transition is going to be. It is in the back of everyone’s mind of what’s happening and how are we going to move forward.”

Petrucelli continued to say that his players’ every-day focus is on training and executing the game plan. But he acknowledged their time off the pitch is when those conversations about the franchise’s future occur.

The success of the Red Stars’ organization hinges upon its sale.

Not just the future success, either. While Petrucelli is adamant that his players have been able to compartmentalize their execution on the field from the business taking place off of it, the sale’s impact goes beyond the team.

The franchise is without a general manager after it fired Michelle Lomnicki last week, compounding the uncertainty of the club’s future.

Without a majority owner who can help the organization “realize its full potential,” or at the very least a general manager, the Red Stars won’t be able to garner big-name free agents. Fans already have witnessed an exodus of past stars, but there are a number of others the Red Stars still might lose.

The Latest
Using the state to push religion on public schoolchildren isn’t so much when it’s another religion being pushed.
Two men were found unresponsive Sunday morning inside a Jeep Cherokee, each with multiple gunshot wounds.
NFL
The Broncos, Jets, Lions and Texans unveiled new uniforms, and Sun-Times ''experts’’ Patrick Finley and Brian Sandalow judge their appeal.
Jimenez had been out for a month with a strained left hamstring.
The city began construction on Grainger Plaza in August 2023, limiting access to the popular sculpture in Millennium Park.