Former Bear, Olympic gold medalist headline Red Stars new ownership group

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Red Stars owners include former Bear, Olympic gold medalist originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Red Stars announced an expanded ownership group on Monday, and it features a little “who’s who” of Chicago cultural icons. Headlined by former Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije, Olympic gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield, Emmy and Peabody winning sports journalist Sarah Spain, and Chance the Rapper’s manager Colleen Mares, the new investors hope to usher in the “next generation of growth” for the team.

“We’ve begun the process of building a singular, powerful team that spans from the pitch to the boardroom,” said majority owner Arnim Whisler in a statement. “This group is more than mere investors. Everyone involved cares deeply about the city of Chicago and the success of the Chicago Red Stars, the NWSL, and women's sports. It’s time for the Red Stars to shine even brighter.”

The Red Stars are a charter member of NWSL, which was founded in 2013. In last season’s “Challenge Cup” they lost in the championship game to the Houston Dash. This year, the NWSL will bring back the Challenge Cup, starting on April 9. Then the regular season will kick off on May 15.

“We’ve already shown we can consistently excel in the NWSL, the top league in the world,” Whisler said. “But we have our sights set on a bigger impact in Chicago and on the international stage.”