Inspired by the WNT Dictionary, here’s your quick catch-up guide for being a Chicago Red Stars fan!
Fan vs. Supporter
All supporters are fans, but only some fans are supporters! No, it’s not a logic problem, but the distinction is important. Nearly everyone at a Red Stars game is a fan. But supporters are different. We support the whole club, and aren’t just fans of individual players.
The Harlem End
The Harlem End is the north end of the stadium, where the supporters for the Red Stars and Chicago Fire are located. We are always in Section 118 and you are welcome to take advantage of the lower-priced GA tickets in our section as long as you stand and sing with us
#MKOT is the club hashtag these days. It stands for “My Kind of Town” – like in the Frank Sinatra song about Chicago. The song is played after every home game. The Red Stars launched a brand refresh in 2017 that you can read about here: chicagoredstars.com/mkot/
If you ever want to write about the team on social media, use #MKOT to connect with other fans and supporters, and follow the hashtag yourself as well!
“Suck on that one”
After Australia fell to Italy in their first game of the 2019 World Cup, reporters & trolls alike criticized the team for the unexpected loss. Less than a week later Red Stars striker and Australian captain Sam Kerr helped the Matildas top Brazil. Post-match Sam was asked how it felt and she smirked uttered the phrase heard ’round the world, “You know there were a lot of critics talking about us but we’re back, so suck on that one!”
SeatGeek Stadium, affectionately known as The Geek (or even the Geem…) in Bridgeview is the home of the Chicago Red Stars.
The Reggies bus is the Pub-to-Pitch bus organized by The Red Line SG, our good friends. The bus is $7 roundtrip and runs to all Red Stars games from Reggies in Chinatown.
The Drainage Derby began with the 2018 semifinal match between the Red Stars and the Courage, when Chicago was expected to fly into Hurricane Florence for the game. For over a week, CRS manager Rory Dames retweeted warnings about how dangerous the storm was and fans and supporters advocated against playing the match in Cary while the NWSL continued to “monitor the situation.” NC boasted that their stadium had excellent drainage, leading to this tweet from Rory:
Click the image for a great recap of what was at stake that week:
CHICAGO, IL – In light of the racist abuse reported at last weekend’s Utah Royals vs. Portland Thorns match, leaders of many National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) supporters’ groups convened under the umbrella of the Independent Supporters Council (ISC) to create the league’s first Supporters’ Group Code of Conduct. Groups representing supporters from every NWSL club have signed on in agreement.
The code affirms the values that these supporters’ groups already uphold and directs members to take appropriate and immediate action to stop future abuse as it may arise. The code also sets an expectation of open communication between front offices and supporters’ groups in order to ensure enforcement of the code’s commitments.
The Supporters’ Group Code of Conduct
As an NWSL supporters group we affirm that we expect our members to embrace diversity and treat all players, coaches, fans, supporters, officials, team and stadium staff with dignity and respect. We will not tolerate hateful or discriminatory words or actions based on race, gender identity, sexuality, citizenship status or nationality, age, appearance, disability, religious or cultural identity. We will also respect the privacy, personal space, and professional boundaries of players, team and league staff.
If group members are made aware of hateful or discriminatory words or actions taking place within our community at any point we affirm that we will take appropriate, immediate action to stop whoever is instigating hate and set the expectation that ownership, coaching staff, players, stadium personnel, and league-wide staff will do the same. Violence or threats of violence will absolutely not be tolerated in any context.
We pledge to make our community a safe space for all who join us in good faith, with an open mind and the intention to be a part of a welcoming community. We also pledge to enforce this commitment in all of the spaces we occupy, including our online space. In the interest of ensuring enforcement of these commitments we expect that lines of communication between our supporter’s group and the team’s front office will remain open at all times and that this Code of Conduct along with any group-specific expectations will be shared with all group members.
Hate, bigotry, and harassment will not be tolerated in NWSL supporting culture. As supporters groups we will do everything in our power to ensure this is true and to grow the game with this commitment as our foundation.
Signed: 9/10/2019 Bayou City Republic (@BayouCityRep, Houston Dash) Chicago Local 134 (@ChicagoLocal134, Chicago Red Stars)* Cloud 9 (@Cloud9SBFC, Sky Blue FC)* The Court (@CourtofRoyals, Utah Royals) Junkyard Dogs (@NCJunkyardDogs, North Carolina Courage) Pride’s Crown (@PridesCrown, Orlando Pride)* Rose City Riveters (PDXRivetersSG, Portland Thorns)* Royal Guard (@RoyalGuard_SG, Reign FC) Spirit Squadron (@SpiritSquadron, Washington Spirit)* The Uproar (@UproarNC, North Carolina Courage) *Indicates ISC membership
The Independent Supporters Council promotes supporters’ culture and advocates for fair treatment of supporters, both at home and on the road. The ISC also serves as a resource for members to share information about supporters’ issues. There are more than 60 members of the Independent Supporters Council in the US and Canada between MLS, NWSL, USL, NPSL, UPSL, and CPL.
Many soccer fans only follow the USWNT during major tournament years, like the World Cup or the Olympics the following year. But women’s soccer happens every year in the many top-tier leagues around the world. Mexico has Liga MX Femenil, England has the FA Women’s Super League, Australia has the W-League, and the United States has the NWSL.
(already know all this?? scroll to the very end for free tickets!)
National Women’s Soccer League
The National Women’s Soccer League, more commonly known as the NWSL was started in 2012 and is currently comprised of 9 clubs across the U.S.
Teams in the NWSL play a 24 game season from roughly April to October each year. Teams are comprised mainly of American players, with a few international players on each team as well. The NWSL is owned in part by US Soccer, which means that it’s often the preferred league for US Women’s National Team players, though some teams have more or less than others.
Players typically enter the NWSL though the College Draft in January, or through trades from other leagues. Due to the opposite schedules, there is a large amount of crossover between the NWSL and the Australian W-League which means players can play professional soccer year-round.
How do I pick a team?
Simple, you pick the Chicago Red Stars, the oldest continuously-operating club in the country. TheRed Stars are a perennial playoff contender and truly embody the grit and determination of Chicago. If you’re a Midwesterner, you really can’t go wrong supporting the Red Stars!
Our next suggestion is to…support your local team! Do you live near one of the other NWSL teams? Then that’s your team! Women’s soccer is growing every year, but the grassroots, day-to-day support that comes from local communities is integral. This guide is written by a supporters group for the Chicago Red Stars, but all NWSL teams have SGs. If you’re looking to join a group, make sure they are independent from the team’s front office and a foster a positive environment for fans. These are the officially recognized groups for each team:
Because SGs have the most fun! Supporters Groups are the people standing up, drumming, chanting, singing, and yelling throughout the matches. Even if you’re watching games online you can usually hear them. SGs often hold pregame parties or tailgates, watch parties for away matches, and sometimes organize trips to other states for matches. SGs are typicially independent of the team, but officially recognized. This means the team does not control the group or its actions, but they do get perks that might be special events, lower ticket prices, and permission to bring instruments, flags, signs and other things into stadiums.
Does your local SG seem intimidating? We promise they aren’t really. SGs would LOVE to have you join them. Some require dues (~$20) for official members, but any of them will welcome you to stand and sing during the match even if you’re not a member. Member dues usually go toward tailgate essentials and support inside the stadium (banners, signs, flags, etc.) The people you meet in your NWSL SGs will be your fiercest, weirdest, and coolest friends!
I heard that the USWNT players are on these teams…
Yep – and if you don’t live near a team or have any other attachment or inclination toward one, you could pick your club based on the players there. For instance, Alex Morgan plays for Orlando, Carli Lloyd plays for Sky Blue, Megan Rapinoe plays for the Reign…but remember that supporting a soccer club is an act of love and passion. Don’t be surprised if your fave gets traded – hopefully you will forever be a fan of your chosen club!
The Chicago Red Stars currently have four USWNT players (Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian, and Tierna Davidson – Chicago’s #1 draft pick in 2019!); one Australian player (2-time reigning Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr); two Mexican players (Katie Johnson and Maria Sanchez), and a number of other players who have been recently called into national team camps (Danny Colaprico, Savannah McCaskill, Arin [Gilliland] Wright, Casey Short, etc.). You can do your own research to find out where your favorite players play!
How do I watch games?
If you’re in the US, you can watch games on Yahoo! Sports. If you’re an international fan, the NWSL streams games on their website for you. If you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago, you can watch all Red Stars games on NBC Sports Chicago. Often the end of the season games end up on ESPN networks, so stay plugged into NWSL news to find out more.
How can I keep up with NWSL news?
Follow the many incredible writers and reporters that cover the Red Stars!
Want to come see the Chicago Red Stars play the North Carolina Courage on July 21st, 2019 AND welcome back the World Cup players? Click the image below and enter code LOCAL134 for two free tickets courtesy of us!
A $5 donation will get you access to an assortment of breakfast items before the 12:00 p.m. Fire game and the 2:30 p.m. Red Stars game that follows. There will be no official Local 134 tailgate between the two games.
“We, the players of the NWSL, vow to build on the opportunity that has been afforded to us, as well as work to achieve those goals that have not yet been attained. We honor the vision and progress of those who came before us…Pledge to work with the League and Allocated Players to advance continued improvements in women’s soccer…Commit ourselves to doing all in our power for the betterment of our members so that we may best contribute to the common goal: a world-class product on the field, and to be role models and inspire the next generation off the field.”
CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars are proud to partner with the Chicago Sky of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in an attempt at #ChangingTheGame in Chicago women’s sports.
Chicago is home to three top-level women’s sports teams featuring players who represent both their club and country. Fans can show support for Chicago women’s professional sports in the first step of the #ChangingTheGame initiative with one great deal.
For $50, fans will receive a ticket to the 2019 home openers of the Red Stars, Sky and Bandits as well as a limited-edition #ChangingTheGame t-shirt.
“The partnership that is being created between three powerful sports teams in Chicago is groundbreaking,” Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler said. “Fans are being given the opportunity to continue to grow the women’s game in three leagues through the NWSL, NPF, and WNBA with this initiative. This is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship between three aspiring organizations looking to change the game.”
Tickets will be delivered via email no later than 48 hours before each team’s home opener. Dates and times of each team’s 2019 home opener will be announced by each team in 2019. T-Shirts will be available for pick-up at the Chicago Red Stars 2019 Home Opener.
“Much has been written about the fierce and rowdy Riveters — with anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 fans in attendance at home games. While they are the largest supporters group in the NWSL, the other nine teams in the league also have supporter groups that are just as proud. Groups like Cloud 9 (Sky Blue), the Spirit Squadron (Washington Spirit) and Chicago Local 134 (Chicago Red Stars) all bring amazing energy to the games.”
See you Saturday for Chicago vs. Houston live on Lifetime from Toyota Park – tailgate starts at 1:00pm!