The 2023 Women’s World Cup is here! That’s right, from today until August 20, a total of 32 nations will participate in the month-long tournament to find out who’s the best team in women’s soccer.
Luckily for us Americans, the United States national team finds themselves at the top of the global women’s rankings. And after winning the past two World Cups in 2015 and 2019, the United States team will look to be the first ever nation to win three World Cups in a row since the FIFA Women’s World Cup started in 1991.
In honor of the start of this year’s World Cup, we’re taking a look at some players who have some ties to one of our favorite women’s teams, the Chicago Red Stars!
2023 Women’s World Cup
Current Red Stars Players
As the tournament approaches, women’s players from all over have started to be named to their respective national teams. Right now, the Chicago Red Stars have three players on their current roster who’ve been announced as 2023 Women’s World Cup players: Alyssa Naeher, Cheyna Matthews, and Jill Aguilera.
This first Red Star that’ll play in this year’s World Cup is goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Since joining the Red Stars in 2016, Naeher has made 182 game appearances and has 614 saves to show for it. She was also named a team captain this year and became the first goalkeeper in NWSL history to play in 150 regular season matches. As a World Cup player, 2023 will be Naeher’s third appearance on the USWNT, and in 2019 she shutout the Netherlands in the Championship.
The next Red Stars player appearing in the 2023 Women’s World Cup is forward, Cheyna Matthews. Matthews will play for the Jamaican Women’s National Team in the second World Cup of her career.
In two regular season starts and six appearances off the bench for the Red Stars this year, Matthews has notched one assist and even forced an own goal in a game against the Kansas City Current.
Our final member of the current Red Stars roster who will compete in this year’s World Cup is midfielder, Jill Aguilera. This year will be Aguilera’s third World Cup of her career and she’ll take the field for the Puerto Rican Women’s National Team. Last April, she scored her first international goal in a 2-0 shootout against Suriname.
This season is her second year in the NWSL and she’s been a member of the Chicago Red Stars her entire career. In 2023, Aguilera has eight regular-season appearances with two for the Red Stars in the 2023 UKG Challenge Cup.
Former Chicago Red Stars Players
Outside of the three current Red Stars players, there are a couple more women’s soccer players who have been named to the USWNT’s World Cup roster.
First up is former Chicago Red Stars’ 2014 third-overall pick, Julie Ertz. Through 7 years with our club, Ertz played in 95 regular season matches and had 6 goals for us during her tenure. In 2019, she helped the Red Stars finish as a runner-up in the NWSL. So far in her career, she’s a two-time Women’s World Cup Champion, as well as a two-time Olympian.
The final player with some ties to Chicago in this Women’s World Cup is Sofia Huerta, a right back for OL Reign. One year after drafting Julie Ertz, the Red Stars selected Huerta with the 11th pick in the 2015 NWSL Draft. From 2015 to 2018, Huerta played in 74 matches for the Red Stars with 67 starts and 22 goals. While not a new face for the USWNT, Huerta previously played for Mexico’s national teams until applying for a change in 2017. In the 2022 Concacaf Women’s Championship, she made three starts in five appearances and helped the US qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Those interested in seeing all the action for this year’s World Cup should tune into their local Fox channel, or any Fox Sports and FS1 streams they may have access to. The United States team will begin their quest for the three-peat against Vietnam on Friday the 21st at 8PM CST.
Featured image credit: @uswnt on Instagram.