Alyse Lahue

Clinton native Alyse LaHue stands overlooking the Chicago skyline. LaHue is the Operations Manager and Player Services Coordinator for the Chicago Red Stars, a professional women’s soccer team.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CHICAGO, Ill. — Alyse LaHue, formerly of Clinton, was named Operations Manager and Account Executive for the Chicago Red Stars on June 1, 2008, after a three-month stint as an intern with the team.

The Red Stars were born as “Chicago Professional Women’s Soccer” with six other charter franchises of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and has a unique partnership with the Illinois Women’s Soccer League. Red Stars President/CEO is Peter Wilt, the team’s general manager is Marcia McDermott and head coach is Emma Hayes.

“I worked with them as an intern until a staff was hired,” Alyse said. “I am approaching my one-year anniversary with the Chicago Red Stars and looking forward to the opening of the season, April 4

“I grew up in south Clinton (600 block of 18th Avenue South) and lived there until I graduated from Mater Dei High School in 1999,” LaHue said .

“I have visited 25 states and 18 countries and the greatest natural wonder I’ve ever seen is my grandma Walker (Helen Walker, owner of Walker’s Tavern formerly located at 18th Avenue South and Sixth Street),” she said.

“With the Red Stars I have assisted with operations, community relations and ticket sales.

“In the next few days my title will change to Operations Manager and Player Services Coordinator (PSC), a promotion offered to me today (Monday),” said Alyse. “I have already been working on my new job responsibilities but the title change is coming. PSC means I am the go-to-person for all the players’ needs.”

LaHue earned all-conference honors in basketball, softball and volleyball while attending Mater Dei and played soccer with the boys’ team.

On Feb. 20, 1999, she scored a career high and, at the time, a school record 32 points against Olin in a district basketball championship game. Her previous high was 29 points against Preston in 1997.

“The scoring records were a pleasing achievement but more memorable was winning the district championship (55-32) my senior year,” she said. “None of my high school coaches are left there any more, but the most influential coach I had was the late Deb Lind, my basketball and volleyball coach.”

Following her graduation from Mater Dei, LaHue attended St. Ambrose University and in 2004 graduated with a degree in International Business and Spanish. She studied abroad two years while earning her degree, one and a half years in Ireland and one-half year in Ecuador.

“In college I chose to pursue soccer, which has led me down my career path,” LaHue said.

While studying for three semesters at the University of Ireland at Maynooth she played soccer and was voted by her teammates to serve as vice president of the Ladies Club Soccer team giving her the experience of the business side of running a soccer team.

LaHue returned to St. Ambrose after a year off to take on the Graduate Assistant coaching position of the women’s soccer side, while working toward an MBA degree. She earned her Masters in July 2007, and then stayed on for a third season as assistant coach at St. Ambrose and head coach of the girls’ team at Davenport West High School.

“I then moved to Chicago where I interned for the new Chicago Professional Women’s Soccer team that was forming in the Women’s Professional Soccer League,” Alyse said. “When I was in college there was another women’s professional soccer league called WUSA (Women’s United Soccer Association) and I had a dream of one day working in women’s pro soccer.

“Then the league sadly folded and I had to think of another dream job,” she said. “Shortly after WUSA folded, a group was formed to begin bringing in a different women’s pro soccer league. I followed it (new league) and waited patiently until there was an opportunity to reach out and try to be part of it.”

LaHue said, “I got in touch with the President and CEO of the Chicago team (Peter Wilt) before there was even a staff. The team’s general manager, Marcia McDermott, was hired Jan. 8, 2007

“It has been extremely exciting to be a part of a start-up organization and to be a part of a new league in the landscape of women’s sports. We are a small staff with big ideas and we all work extremely hard to see this league succeed,” she said.

Alyse added, “I’m in the perfect position where I’m able to combine my education in business and international studies with my love of the game of soccer. Marcia and Peter (Wilt) gave me an invaluable opportunity to excel as an intern in the early days of Chicago Women’s Pro Soccer (WPS), and I am eager to continue to be a part of the pathway the Red Stars are going to blaze in women’s professional soccer.”

The Chicago Red Stars (named in honor of the City of Chicago flag.) under Coach Hayes open the campaign with two road games — Apr. 4, at Edwardsville, IL, against the St. Louis Athletics, and Apr. 11, against Washington Freedom at Germantown, MD before opening at home in 20,000 seat Toyota Park, Apr. 19, against Sky Blue FC (New Jersey/New York).

Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., is also the home of the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer team.

Other teams in the league include Los Angeles Sol, Gold Pride FC (Bay Area), and the Boston Breakers. Three expansion teams are expected in 2010, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas.