The Chicago Red Stars have added former U.S. National Team veteran Leslie Osborne to their roster for the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season.
Red Stars officials also said the signing represents the first of five major acquisitions the team will announce in the coming weeks.
Osborne, a Brookfield, Wis., native, earned 59 caps with the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and most recently played with the Boston Breakers in the WPS and WPSL-Elite leagues, where she served as team captain.
“I believe this was the next step to take professionally and personally,” Osborne said in a statement released by the Red Stars. “I will be back in the Midwest, with my family being an hour away. I am very excited to be a Red Star.”
By joining the Chicago franchise, Osborne is reuniting with Red Stars head coach Rory Dames.
“Rory was also my club coach growing up and I learned and valued his guidance and coaching,” Osborne said.
Osborne competed collegiately at Santa Clara University, where she won an NCAA Championship her freshman year. As a senior, she received the NCAA’s Honda Award and was recognized as the nation’s top female athlete in soccer. Osborne finished her career at Santa Clara with 44 goals and 34 assists and had her jersey retired in 2011.
Osborne’s career with U.S. Soccer began at the youth level where she was part of the U-16, U-18, U-19 and U-21 National Teams. Osborne played with the senior national team for the first time in 2003. In 2007, she competed in her first World Cup.
“It was a tough decision to leave the Boston Breakers. They are a great organization in a great city with great fans,” she said. “I was honored captaining the team all three seasons.”
The Red Stars will continue to fill out their roster by announcing four other free agents in the near future, as well as taking part in a supplemental draft on Thursday, in which they have the No. 4 pick in each round.
The Chicago Red Stars are one of 8 teams to compete in the new NWSL that will begin play in April.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.