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Mallory Swanson signs 5-year deal with Chicago

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(Daniel Bartel/USA TODAY Sports)

Mallory Swanson has re-signed with the Chicago Red Stars on a record-breaking deal.

The free agent will remain in Chicago on a five-year contract, which is the longest in league history. And while the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s also reportedly the largest in NWSL history.

“I am excited to be back with the Red Stars! These last few years have been such a blessing in Chicago, even with the ups and downs, and I can’t wait to be back,” said Swanson in a release. “I am looking forward to getting to work and helping the team win championships. See everyone soon!”

It’s the latest in what has been a number of record-breaking signings for some of the league’s best players. Previously, Maria Sánchez had signed the largest contract in league history in December, signing a three-year contract worth nearly $1.5 million with the Houston Dash. In 2022, Trinity Rodman signed a four-year deal worth $1.4 million with the Washington Spirit.

“The Red Stars could not be more excited that Mallory Swanson has decided to extend her career with us here in Chicago,” said Chicago Red Stars president, Karen Leetzow. “Mallory exemplifies the grit, focus and resiliency of our franchise and is an anchor for this team. Mal is a born leader on and off the field and I look forward to working with her to make the Red Stars a championship team.”

There had been reports that Swanson had intended to re-sign with the Red Stars, despite receiving significant offers from other clubs. Swanson has been the Red Stars’ primary offensive asset since she signed with the club in 2021. She began 2022 as such, scoring two goals for the Red Stars early in the NWSL season before tearing her patellar tendon in April 2023.

Swanson has been back training without any brace or support on her injured knee, indicating that she may be healed and ready to play by the beginning of the NWSL season in March.

She’ll do so with a new head coach, as the team’s new ownership group opted to hire former Jamaica national team manager Lorne Donaldson. He also was president of elite youth club Real Colorado, where he helped develop Swanson and fellow USWNT star forward Sophia Smith.