USWNT: Lori Chalupny Makes Return to Roster


Since 2009, Lori Chalupny of the Chicago Red Stars has not played a match for the U.S Women’s National Team (USWNT). While her name may not ring a bell to many casual women’s soccer fans, Chalupny is a seasoned veteran with the USWNT.

Jun 16, 2013; Overland Park, KS, USA; Chicago Red Stars midfielder Lori Chalupny (17) moves the ball during the first half of the match against FC Kansas City at Shawnee Mission District Stadium. The Chicago Red Stars won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

She has appeared 92 times for the USA, won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and was a bronze medalist at the 2007 Women’s World Cup. In 2009 she was also named co-captain for the Algarve Cup in Portugal. However, with a long string of concussions through early 2010 the U.S Soccer Federation no longer felt that it was safe allowing Chalupny to train with the national team.

After a series of medical tests an interview in 2013 brought her troubles to return to the NT to light. She was cleared for competition by four teams and two of the top neurologists in the country Dr. [Robert] Cantu and Dr. [Michael] Collins had signed off on Chalupny’s health. So what was keeping her off the National Team (NT)?

One man, U.S. Soccer’s Dr. Ruben Echemendia, refused to clear Chalupny for international competition. It should be clear that Dr. Echemendia had never physically examined Chalupny but still continued to keep her from playing for her national team?

"“It’s just a matter of this one neurologist, and he’s entitled to his opinion. But I guess until that changes, my status won’t change.”-Lori Chalupny"

U.S Soccer had no problem letting Chalupny continue her professional club career in the states because at the time the professional domestic league, Women’s Professional Soccer, more commonly referred to as the WPS, was not tied to the U.S Soccer Federation. Until U.S Soccer’s doctor cleared Chalupny to play, she had assumed that her international career was over for good.

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That it—until now. Since U.S Soccer is now a major “operational arm” of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), Chalupny felt that she could now make a case to the U.S Federation to be cleared for international competition.

In August one interview explained that Chalupny reached out the U.S Soccer and “after a series of tests by independent doctors and U.S. Soccer chief medical officer George Chiampas, Chalupny was cleared to be re-admitted to the U.S. player pool.”

And with less than a year before the Women’s World Cup in Canada, Chalupny’s return to the NT is both a surprise and a blessing. She is considered one of the most talented players in the NWSL and one of the best outside backs at the international level, a position that has constantly been in flux in the USWNT’s 2014 campaign. Even the coaching staff are eager to see what she can add to the team dynamic.

"“This is not an invite just to bring Lori back in. She’s been one of the best players in the league. Bringing her down to Brazil gives me a chance to see her in training. She’s got a sweet left foot, she’s a tremendous competitor, positionally she’s very versatile and she’s a technical player. I think she’s a good fit for what we are looking for as far as players who will come in and be impactful.” -Jill Elis, Head Coach of the USWNT"

Chalupny will join the USWNT on their December trip to Brazil for friendlies against China PR (#14), Brazil (#6), and Argentina (#37). We wish her the best of luck in these next months and are happy to see her back on the field for the USA.

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