The Chicago Red Stars finally have an announcement to make: former Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson will be the squad’s new head coach.
Last summer, Lorne Donaldson led Jamaica to their best finish in a World Cup. He was one of a few names in consideration for the USWNT head coaching vacancy. Off the pitch, Donaldson was the co-founder of the Black Soccer Coaches Association of America helping to bring African and Caribbean players and coaches a better understanding of the American football culture.
“I’m excited to work with this talented team that includes some of the NWSL’s best players to turn the Chicago Red Stars into a championship club both on and off the pitch,” said Donaldson. “I look forward to partnering with Laura Ricketts and Karen Leetzow, who are committed to creating a culture of excellence and accountability.” Lorne is the first soccer operations appointment for the Red Stars since Laura Ricketts’ ownership group took over this summer.
“Lorne has a proven track record as a winning coach and an advocate for his athletes. We believe he has the experience and leadership skills to elevate our talented group of players,” said Laura Ricketts, Red Stars Executive Chairperson. “As the president of the elite youth club Real Colorado, Lorne also has deep ties to some of the finest U.S. players.”
These ties may help Chicago become a destination during the busy NWSL free agency season. Last off-season saw more exits than entrances, including longtime players Morgan Gatraut, Vanessa DiBernardo, and Danny Colaprico.
Lorne Donaldson is the first soccer operations appointment for the Red Stars since Laura Ricketts’ ownership group purchased the team. He’s the second appointment overall, after new Team President Karen Leetzow.
The Red Stars finished in last place in the 2023 season. They have work to do to become contenders in this new chapter for the team, and new era of the NWSL. Lorne Donaldson’s appointment is a signal to the rest of the league that the Chicago Red Stars are ready to turn the page on their last-place campaign.