In honor of the Chicago Red Stars retiring the number of former captain Lori Chalupny this weekend, we have composed a list of 17 reasons as to why we love Lori Chalupny.
1) Her longevity. Chalupny has had a long soccer career with success on various levels: college, various professional leagues, and the U.S. national team.
2) Her 2003 National Championship with the University of North Carolina.
3) Her 2008 Olympic Gold Medal.
4) Her 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship.
5) The way she battled her way back from a struggle with concussions. Unable to play for the U.S. from 2009 to 2014 due to injury, she utilized league play (WPS/NWSL) and fought her way back onto the national team.
6) How, when she returned to the national team, she didn’t pull veteran rank over Tobin Heath for her original number 17 and just wore 16 instead. Total team player. (That’s ok, she’ll always be 17 to us.)
7) She is Hope Solo’s favorite ‘Left Back of All Time’. She says so herself! She’s our favorite too.
8) When she played as a Red Star in the WPSL, WITHOUT PAY because she believed in growing the game.
9) She loves pizza like YOU love pizza. While at national team training camp in her hometown of St. Louis, Chalupny gave us a tour of IMO’s pizza and even shares a slice with teammates.
10) The way she is a St. Louis girl through and through. Look how she cringes putting on rival Cubs jersey (sorry Cubs fans).
Source – Chicago Red Stars Snapchat
11) You can’t knock civic pride, though. Look at all the joy on her face when she scores for her team in front of her hometown crowd.
12) The way she grew to love Chicago as her very own city.
13) She will be the head coach for Maryville Women’s Soccer in 2018!
14) The way she could command and anchor a midfield.
15) The way she could defend and attack the left flank.
16) The way she represented the Red Stars crest and captain arm band with dignity and pride every single match.
17) The way her number will never be worn by another Red Stars player.
Honorable Mention: During a Red Stars segment of “KK Cam,” Chalupny accompanied then goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and Zakiya Bywaters on a trip to a hair salon. While there, she had zero chill, expressing her fear of clippers and blades going near KK’s head.
All of these reasons and more are why we miss seeing you out on the pitch, Chups. Thank you, Captain!