Chicago Red stars midfielder Lori Chalupny earned the soccer franchise's Golden Boot and MVP awards, and German international Sonja Fuss captured Defender of the Year honors, club officials announced Friday.
The Red Stars (8-6-8, 30 points) finished sixth in the eight-team National Women's Soccer League, just two wins shy of the final playoff spot in the inaugural NWSL season. The awards were voted on by media, players, coaches and staff.
Chalupny, one of the Red Stars team captains, led the way with 5 goals and 4 assists before an ankle injury forced her to miss the final 4 remaining regular-season matches. The gritty 29-year old midfielder was second on the NWSL's most-fouled list.
"Lori's work rate and determination on the field, along with her skill set, helped mold the group mentality into the never-say-die attitude they displayed this season," said head coach Rory Dames.
Fuss, a 34-year-old defender, helped to lead the Chicago Red Stars turnaround after her arrival in late May. The Red Stars were winless in the first two months of the season, but once Fuss helped solidify the back line the Red Stars finished the season on a winning pace.
"Sonja's leadership and calming presence to our young back line was a major factor in the team going 8-4-4 in the games she played in," said Dames.
The NWSL semifinals begin on Saturday with Portland Thorns FC at FC Kansas City at 1 p.m., and Sky Blue FC at Western New York Flash at 7 p.m. The winners will meet in the championship game on Aug. 31.