Fri 22.Mar 2013 09:33 Albert Sigurdsson,
Chicago Red stars sign a German Super Duo
German Super Duo signs with Chicago Red Stars
Image: www.womensprosoccer.com
The Chicago Red Stars have secured the services of former German internationals Sonja Fuss and Inka Grings for the inaugural season of the NWSL. Currently under contract with FC Zurich, the talented duo will remain with the Swiss outfit until May 20, at which point they will cross the Atlantic to battle for points alongside the medal-rich Red Stars roster.

They will be the first German players to play professionally in the US since WUSA, when Birgit Prinz and others were impact players in the league. Defender Sonja Fuss has already plied her trade across the Atlantic once before. After several years with local German side Brauweiler Puhlheim, the now 34-year-old briefly played college soccer at Connecticut’s University of Hartford. She subsequently continued her storied career with a return to her home country, joining FSV Frankfurt in 2004.

In years following, Fuss played for different flagship clubs of German women’s soccer, such as Turbine Potsdam, FCR Duisburg and 1. FC Köln, before making the switch to Switzerland in the fall of 2011. Over the course of her career, the world-class defender helped the German national team to a pair of World Cup trophies and three European Championships as well as to a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

By joining Chicago, the native of Bonn, Germany, is able to check off a long-time goal off hers.

“After my time with Hartford University, my coach there, Mark Krikorian, became a coach in the top professional league in the U.S. at the time,” Fuss recalled. “He would tell me a lot about it, and so would two of my teammates on the German national team, Bettina Wiegmann and Maren Meinert. Ever since then, playing in the United States has always been a dream of mine.”

To say the defender, who has been capped a total of 68 times by Germany, is excited for the next chapter of her career would be an understatement.

“The NWSL will be considered one of the world’s strongest leagues,” she said. “Being the competitive athlete I am, accepting that challenge was a no-brainer. I’m excited about my new team and especially about playing alongside Shannon Boxx, one of the world’s best midfielders. I’ve been to Chicago once before with the national team and now I can’t wait to explore the many other sides of this culture-rich city.”

Inka Grings, who is a six-time winner of the German Bundesliga’s top goal-scorer award, has shared the field with her current FC Zurich teammate numerous times. Before the pair’s time in Switzerland, their paths crossed when they played alongside each other at FCR Duisburg, where Grings scored an impressive 353 goals in 271 matches between 1995 and 2011.

The 34-year-old would also continuously prove her value as a finisher for her country, finding the net 64 times in 98 appearances. She helped the German national team to two European Championships, both times also taking home the award for the tournament’s best goal-scorer, an honor she was also able to secure at the 2010 Algarve Cup.

“I can’t wait to take on the new challenges,” Grings said. “Of course I’ve already done some research on the city of Chicago and the club. Being able to take the field with such amazing players will be a fantastic experience, and to compete in one of the world’s best leagues is simply the ultimate challenge. I believe any competitive athlete can relate to that. For as long as I play soccer, I will want to win, help the team perform at its best, and celebrate championships together.”

It appears the goal of winning the 2013 NWSL trophy has just become a lot more attainable for the Red Stars.

“Inka Grings has proven herself to be one of the most prolific scorers of the past decade,” raved Head Coach Rory Dames. “She brings an instant presence to our front line and has all the potential in the world to produce lots of goals for us. Like Inka, Sonja Fuss brings a wealth of experience at the international level. One of her greatest assets is her versatility and ability to play anywhere across the backline. She brings additional maturity we’ve been looking to add to our defensive core. We can’t wait for both of them to join the team.”
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