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The Chicago Red Stars have announced the signing of Arsenal midfielder Katie Chapman for the team's 2010 Women's Professional Soccer season.
Chapman's official signing is pending the league's approval.
Chapman is the second midfielder the Red Stars have brought in this offseason, acquiring Oswego native and WPS champion Julianne Sitch, formerly of Sky Blue FC, in October.
Chapman certainly is a familiar athlete to Red Stars head coach Emma Hayes and Red Stars midfielder Karen Carney. Carney and Chapman were teammates at Arsenal, and Hayes was the organization's assistant coach, from 2006 to 2008. Carney and Chapman also have played together for the England National Team. Chapman's familiarity with Carney and Hayes' coaching style should pay dividends for the Red Stars in the 2010 WPS season.
"I have watched Katie play since she was 15," Hayes said. "I coached her for two years at Arsenal and she is a rock that makes everything around her better. She was the engine and heartbeat of the successful quadruple-winning team." The quadruple includes winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2007.
Chapman, 27, is a physical player who handles a brunt of the dirty work in the middle of the pitch. She also can produce on the offensive end in a big game. On May 4 of this year, Chapman scored a goal as Arsenal defeated Sunderland 2-1 to win the FA Women's Cup. On May 6, 2002, Chapman netted the game winner for Fulham during a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Doncaster Belles.
"I travelled to the Euro's this past summer and she was England's best player," Hayes said. "She will bring steel and consistency to the midfield, and she is a wonderful human and teammate. Her experience will push us forward, and I am delighted to be working with her again."
Twice in her career, Chapman took a hiatus from soccer when she was pregnant with her first son, Harvey, in 2002-2003, and gave birth to her second son, Riley, in January of 2008. She quickly worked back into the fold with Arsenal and the England National Team, competing several months ago alongside Carney en route to a runner-up finish in the 2009 UEFA Women's European Championship.
Chapman currently has 73 international caps and has scored seven goals for England. The London, England, native played for Millwall Lionesses (1992 to 2000), debuted for England U-18s at the age of 16 and then played for Fulham (2000-2004) and Charlton Athletic (2004-2006) before joining Arsenal in 2006.
Katie Chapman will be the seventh member of the current England squad to ply her trade in America, joining the aforementioned Karen Carney as well as Kelly Smith, Alex Scott, Anita Asante, Eniola Aluko and Karen Bardsley.
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