The Chicago Red Stars and Karen Carney have agreed to a contract to play for the club in 2009, General Manager Marcia McDermott announced today. The dynamic English forward, the third pick of the Red Stars in last September’s WPS International Draft, becomes the first player to officially sign with the team for 2009.
A burgeoning talent on the English National Team, Carney, 21, exploded onto the scene in 2005, scoring in her first-ever call up to the senior National Team. She has earned 41 caps with England and was honored with the FA National Young Player of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006.
“I am delighted to be joining the Chicago Red Stars,” said Carney. “The set-up is fantastic; great stadium and training facilities and, of course, teaming up with Emma Hayes was a major factor in my decision. WPS represents a new era for the women’s game and I am extremely excited about the prospect of playing with and against the best players on the planet. “
Carney joins Chicago from Arsenal Ladies F.C. of London, where Red Stars coach Emma Hayes trained her in 2006 and 2007. She played a vital role in Arsenal’s successful 2006/2007 campaign, in which the club won four major trophies, including the FA Women’s Premier league title, the FA Women’s Cup, The FA Women’s Premier League Cup and the UEFA Women’s Cup.
“Karen is the best, young, attacking player in England,” praised Chicago Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes, “and I truly believe that playing in WPS will provide her a platform to develop into one of the best players in the world.”
The opportunity to develop as a player and to test herself against the top players in the world was a determining factor in Carney’s decision to come to the United States.
“Of course it has been a very difficult decision to leave such a successful club like Arsenal and it will be a real wrench to leave the team but I just felt that the time was right for a new challenge,” she explained. “In the long run I feel that the standard of football in WPS and the opportunity to concentrate full time on improving my game at the Red Stars will accelerate my football development. I remain extremely committed to the England team and firmly believe that my goal to become a more accomplished footballer at Chicago can only benefit my international career and ultimately help England’s continued rise up the world rankings.”
The Red Stars kick off the 2009 WPS season on April 5th on the road against St. Louis Athletica at Ralph Korte Stadium on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Following a second road game against the Washington Freedom on April 11th, the Red Stars will play their home-opener at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday April 19th against Sky Blue FC of New Jersey.
Source: Chicago Red Stars