NWSL news: Donaldson becomes Red Stars leader, Spirit set to add Krueger, Gorden re-signs with Angel City

  • Chicago Red Stars announce Lorne Donaldson as next manager ahead of draft
  • USWNT defender Casey Krueger linked with Washington Spirit per sources
  • Sarah Gorden re-signs with Angel City after McCaskill exit

Racing Louisville FC v Angel City FC
Racing Louisville FC v Angel City FC / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages
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NWSL news: Ex-Jamaican Women’s National Team leader Lorne Donaldson named Chicago Red Stars manager

With the objective of getting out of the basement, Chicago Red Stars has selected its leader who will be tasked with this uphill climb. Lorne Donaldson, the manager of the Jamaican Women's National Team that took the 2023 World Cup by storm was officially announced as the club's choice.
Red Stars president Karen Leetzow gave some insight into why this was the right path heading into 2024.

“Lorne is the right person to lead us next season. Lorne’s experiences as a decorated player and as a winning coach on the youth, professional and international level will be invaluable for our players, coaches and staff who have the opportunity to learn from him.”

In just Jamacia's second-ever World Cup appearance, the nation, against all odds punched a spot into the final 16. He is set to become the fifth permanent head coach in the franchise's history, replacing Chris Petrucelli after a 12-loss campaign. Donaldson will join the Chicago side in January prior to the 2024 NWSL College Draft, an event in which the Red Stars hold the No. 3 overall selection.

Bringing in someone who was at the center of youth club Real Colorado was vital in the decision-making process. Not only did he play a part in the development of numerous stars, but he previously coached current free agent Mallory Swanson. His arrival has to be a sign of intent by the club to bring back the USWNT star who will be coming off a long-term knee injury.

NWSL news: Washington Spirit to add defender Casey Krueger via free agency per sources

With the rumors of the potential new manager out, Washington Spirit is beginning to get into the business of adding assets to its squad. Per The Athletic, USWNT's Casey Krueger will be heading east to Washington after spending her last seven professional seasons in the Windy City.

The Spirit, who are still without a coach bring in Krueger to help stabilize one of the wings of its defense. She is widely known in the football world as one of the best one vs. one defenders. That's not all she can do, though.

Her offensive contributions were well-documented in the NWSL and internationally in 2023. Krueger assisted on all three of Chicago's goals in the final NWSL Challenge Cup contest back in August. That is a good sign for Trinity Rodman, who very well may now have a running mate on the flank to connect on overlaps with. From the Red Stars' perspective, this just adds to the already running list of holes to fill this offseason.

Note: Washington made two re-signings public, midfielder Paige Metayer, and goalkeeper Lyza Bosselmann. Neither of them were free agents this offseason.

NWSL news: Sarah Gorden remains with Angel City through 2026 with an option for another year

Going into the offseason, this had to be No. 1 on Angel City's priority list. Fans of the Los Angeles outfit can now finally breathe. Sarah Gorden, the club's Iron Woman central defender in 2023 has penned a contract through 2026 with a mutual option for another.

In her return from an ACL injury, the ex-Red Star was magnificent in the backline for ACFC, finishing the campaign as one of the four defenders on the NWSL Best XI first team. What Becki Tweed seeks to build for 2024 will be led by the foundation of consistency the 31-year-old brings day in and day out on and off the pitch. Now that Vanessa Gilles extended her loan in France, securing Gorden in the center of that defense was paramount to reaching the success Tweed eyes for next season. She was one of just 21 players across the entire league in the 2023 regular season with at least 800 total passes completed per FBref. The Illinois native expressed why she opted to stay put in L.A.

“Los Angeles is home to me and my family and there’s no place we’d rather be. Last year was just a sneak peak into what this team is capable of. I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue to work, grow, and evolve as a player here. I want nothing more than to bring a championship home to LA!”

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