Just ahead of the opening games at the London Olympics, where the US National Women's soccer team are gearing up to take take on the world, there's some hopefuls vying for a National Championship right here, Chicago Red Stars and former WPS stars Lori Chalupny, Amanda Cinalli, Juliana Sitch, and DePaul's own Erin Pekovich and Elise Weber Addis will be seeking their first ever US National Cup title this weekend in the Women’s Amateur Cup, when finals take place on Friday and Sunday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
The Red Stars punched their ticket to the finals after winning Region II in Ft. Wayne on June 15th - 17th. The team secured a 3-0-1 record over four games, scoring 7 goals and retaining 4 shutouts. They defeated state winners Ft. Wayne Soccer Club (IN), Kansas City United Metro (KS), Croatian Eagles (WI) and tied JB Marine (MO).
"We are so proud to be representing Chicago and the Midwest this weekend,” stated Red Stars’ Owner Arnim Whisler. “This is a great competition and we are going to do our part to help revive and strengthen this tradition for the women. It is our hope going forward that the top teams in the US plan on this as another way to give their rosters great games in the summer."
Twenty-four teams that won their Region across men’s and women’s divisions will converge around Bridgeview for a shot at their respective National Cup title, hosted by USASA (United States Adult Soccer Association).
“The team played great and grinded through a tough weekend in Indiana,” said Red Stars’ defender Jackie Santacaterina, who served as a player-coach during Regionals. “If we can go into the championship weekend with the same attitude, we will be very hard to beat.”
The team was led during Regionals by current University of Illinois player, Shayla Mutz, who had 3 goals and added an assist. Allison Doyle also came up big for the Red Stars with a pair of goals and an assist of her own. Goalkeepers Kelsey Devonshire and Kristen Eggert each earned shutouts during the weekend.
“I think if you were to watch the first game and last game you would see a noticeable improvement in our ability to play with each other, despite being tired after a hard fought weekend,” Mutz said. “We’re looking forward to this weekend when we’ll get the opportunity to take on great competition from around the country.”
The Red Stars will kick-off their quest in the semifinals on Friday, July 20th, at 10:30am vs Turbo D’Feeters, the team from North Texas that won Region III. The game will take place on the Toyota Park practice field, located just beyond the northwest corner of the stadium. The other semifinalists, New York Athletic Club (NY, Region I) and Salt Lake United (Utah, Region IV), will be meeting at the same time on the Argo High School turf field, which is located just north of Toyota Park.
The victors of these matches will meet for a chance at the National Cup of the Women’s Division on the main field at Toyota Park on Sunday, July 22nd, at Noon.
Attendance for all US Open Cup matches this weekend is FREE. Parking is available on the west side lot at Toyota Park, located at 7000 South Harlem Avenue, Bridgeview, IL 60455.