by WPS – Communications

CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2010) – The Chicago Red Stars franchise, which was given an extension by the league’s Board of Governors until December 15 to complete its funding to secure a place in the 2011 WPS Season, announced today that it will forego the 2011 Season in order to focus the organization’s energies and resources on increased investment to enable a return to Women’s Professional Soccer in 2012.

“We were just short of where we needed to be investment-wise for this season,” said Arnim Whisler, part-owner of the Chicago Red Stars and the team’s governor on the WPS Board. “To ensure we are adequately capitalized to play in WPS, it was prudent for us to make the right choice at this time to focus on 2012 for both our organization and the league on the whole. We hope to return in 2012 with an additional year of raising capital under our belts.”

The team is evaluating options to maintain a presence in Chicago as it looks to bring in additional investment. Chicago’s players currently under contract will become free agents.

“The league has been working closely with Chicago throughout the past month and preparations for a six-team league for next year have already been underway, so this will not cause any operational disruptions,” said WPS CEO, Anne-Marie Eileraas. “We hope that Chicago is able to use the time over the next year to raise the necessary capital to return in 2012.”

The home openers for the six teams in WPS will be announced later this month.



Sky Blue FC Adds New Jersey Native–
by Sky Blue FC – Press Release–

Midfielder Carolyn Blank Signs with Sky Blue FC

Somerset, N.J. (Monday, December 6, 2010) – Along with the recent addition of midfielder Allie Long, Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has completed its second free agent signing of the offseason. The team formally announced today that midfielder Carolyn Blank, who is a native of Toms River, New Jersey, will be joining the organization in 2011 when it aims to return the league championship to the Garden State.

“We are very pleased that Carolyn decided to sign with Sky Blue FC,” head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “She brings us a nice defensive presence in the midfield. She also has a lot of upside, and we are looking forward to working with her.”

Blank was drafted by Saint Louis Athletica in the 2010 WPS Draft and started all six matches she played there, contributing a goal to the offensive cause. When the team closed operations, she was then signed by the Atlanta Beat as a free agent and went on to make eight more starts in 13 games played. Playing mostly from a holding position in the midfield, the former U.S. Youth National Team player tallied a total of seven shots in 1358 minutes of play.

“On both a team as well as a personal level, I am very excited about Carolyn coming to New Jersey to play for Sky Blue FC,” General Manager Gerry Marrone said. “In addition to being a Jersey Girl, she also played soccer for PDA (Players Development Academy), which is a great supporter of our organization. She will be a valuable asset to us, both on and off the field.”

After securing four Most Valuable Player Awards and becoming the all-time leading scorer at Toms River High School East, Blank continued her soccer career at West Virginia University. She helped the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in each season she played in Morgantown, receiving NSCAA All-America accolades after both her junior and senior years. She also holds the program record with 92 games played, all of which were starts. For her college career, she totaled 13 goals and seven assists.

Not only does this signing mark the return of Blank to New Jersey, it will also be the second time that she has worn a Sky Blue kit. Prior to her junior season at West Virginia University, she played for Jersey Sky Blue, which was the USL W-League club that preceded the current professional team.

Note: All team transactions must be approved by WPS before becoming official.

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