After major trades last week, Red Stars bring back four key players

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CHICAGO – With the departure of their manager along with a number of key players in trades last week, the Chicago Red Stars will already have quite a different look for the 2022 NWSL season.

But the club did take a few steps this week to ensure that a few mainstays for the franchise will be around not just for next season but the one after.

On Monday, the club signed goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, forward Mallory Pugh, along with defenders Tierna Davidson and Casey Krueger to multi-year contracts that keep them with the club through the 2023 season.

In Naeher’s contract, there is also an option for the 2024 campaign, but all four players are now under contract with the Red Stars instead of the USWNT allocated player contracts to the NWSL.

“This remarkable group of players, Tierna, Casey, Alyssa and Mallory, are wonderful representatives of the club and have contributed significantly to the team’s success and winning culture during the past few years. We look forward to them and our core leading this team into the future,” said the Red Stars in a general statement on the moves. “Signing these USWNT players is a testament to our plans for a steadily advancing professional environment. These new contracts are an essential part of ensuring that the Red Stars’ 2021 NWSL Championship match roster is built upon and continues to improve.”

All four players have seen time with the United States Women’s National Team at some point in their soccer careers. Davidson, Krueger, and Naeher were all part of the team that represented the US at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games this summer.

Krueger, a native of Naperville, is the longest-tenured of the group with the Red Stars, having played with the club since the 2015 season. Naeher has been with the club since 2016 while also being the top goalkeeper for the women’s national team.

Davidson was drafted first overall by the Red Stars in 2019 and has been with the club for three seasons and a consistent contributor to the club. Acquired in a trade from OL Reign before the 2021 season, Pugh finished as an NWSL MVP finalist with four regular season goals along with the only score in the club’s 1-0 win over NJ/NY Gotham FC in the NWSL Quarterfinals at SeatGeek Stadium.

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