The Red Stars finally have a new head coach.
The club announced the hiring of former Jamaica manager Lorne Donaldson as their new head coach.
Donaldson replaces Chris Petrucelli who was let go with one game left in the 2023 season.
“Lorne has a proven track record as a winning coach and an advocate for his athletes. We believe he has the experience and leadership skills to elevate our talented group of players,” said Laura Ricketts, Red Stars Executive Chairperson.”As the president of the elite youth club Real Colorado, Lorne also has deep ties to some of the finest U.S. players.”
Donaldson was the head of the Jamaican Women’s National team where the “Reggae Girlz” became the first Caribbean nation to progress to the round of 16.
“I’m excited to work with this talented team that includes some of the NWSL’s best players to turn the Chicago Red Stars into a championship club both on and off the pitch,” Donaldson said in the club’s press release. “I look forward to partnering with Laura Ricketts and [team president] Karen Leetzow, who are committed to creating a club of excellence and accountability. What I have most enjoyed in my career is coaching elite athletes and helping them reach and exceed their fullest potential.”
Donaldson is the first on the pitch hire for the Laura Ricketts led ownership group. The Red Stars finished in last place last season and will be looking to get back to the team that consistently made the NWSL playoffs and battled for a title.
In Donaldson, the Red Stars believe they found the right person to lead them forward in what is a fresh start for the organization.
“Lorne is the right person to lead us next season,” said Leetzow. Lorne’s experiences as a decorated player and as a winning coach on the youth, professional and international level will be invaluable for our players, coaches and staff who have the opportunity to learn from him.”
Donaldson will join the team in the coming weeks in preparation for the NWSL Draft, which will be held on January 12.