Red Stars captain DiBernardo does not plan to re-sign with team

Chicago Red Stars midfielder and captain Vanessa DiBernardo does not plan to re-sign with the club, the team announced Tuesday.

The Naperville native has been a part of the Red Stars since she was drafted in the first round of the 2014 National Women's Soccer League draft.

"Chicago will forever have a place in my heart, but it's time for me to start a new chapter in my career," she said. "Being a Red Star for the past 9 seasons has been more meaningful than I could have ever imagined," DiBernardo said. "I'm thankful to many people who have supported me on my journey, but I especially want to thank my teammates for making my time in Chicago so special. I'm also grateful for the staff who pushed me to be the best player I could be. And finally, I want to thank the fans. You've been through a lot with us over the years, and if it wasn't for your constant support, we wouldn't be where we are today. I have faith this club is headed in the right direction, and I will be cheering it on from afar."

DiBernardo has been a constant presence for the Red Stars since joining the team in 2014.

DiBernardo leads the team in regular-season appearances, starts and minutes. She also is second in regular-season assists with 22, behind Yuki Nagasato (23).

DiBernardo is one of two players to have appeared in every playoff game for the Red Stars.

The midfielder played in every game during the 2022 NWSL regular season, scoring 1 goal and assisting on one other. In September, DiBernardo was named to the NWSL's Best XI for the month. That was the third time in her career DiBernardo was named to a NWSL Best XI of the month team (July 2019, August 2018).

Prior to joining the Red Stars, DiBernardo played for the University of Illinois from 2010-2013. She ended her college career ranked third in school history with 43 goals, was twice a candidate for the MAC Hermann Trophy and in 2012 was named to the All-Big Ten First Team and Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

DiBernardo was inducted into the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020.

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