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Chicago Red Stars split with head coach before final match of season

The Chicago Red Stars have parted ways with head coach Chris Petrucelli before the final game of the 2023 season. (Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports)

The Chicago Red Stars have parted ways with head coach Chris Petrucelli, the NWSL club announced Tuesday night.

The last-place Red Stars announced that Petrucelli will not return for the 2024 season. Ella Masar will serve as interim head coach Sunday for the final match of the 2023 season against OL Reign.

Laura Ricketts, who led the investor group that recently purchased the club, said that the Red Stars “appreciate Chris’s service as coach, especially during this ownership transition, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Petrucelli joined the Red Stars ahead of the 2022 season in the wake of disgraced head coach Rory Dames, who was alleged to have verbally abused athletes during his time with the club and was at the center of a joint investigation by the NWSL and NWSLPA into misconduct around the league. Dames has been banned for life by the league.

The 2023 season was a rough one for the Red Stars, with the club going on two separate four-game losing streaks. Additionally, they were shut out in five of six Challenge Cup matches. A knee injury to star forward Mallory Swanson did not help.

Chicago has gone 7-11-3 (W-L-D) so far in the regular season, and has given up three or more goals in nine different games this season – including in a 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Current last Saturday.