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The Chicago Red Stars have signed Brazilian national Julia Bianchi to a two-year contract the club announced on Wednesday. She is the first Brazilian player to join the team in their NWSL history. Long-time Brazilian icons Cristiane and Formiga previously represented the club during their Women's Professional Soccer era. Julia will join the club for preseason upon approval of her visa application. 

The midfielder is an essential pick-up for the club after the Red Stars lost several midfield players in the offseason during free agency and to retirement. Danielle Colaprico, Morgan Gautrat, and Vanessa DiBernardo each exercised their free agency, while Sarah Woldmoe announced her retirement. Julia's arrival to the club will help provide relief in the middle third, particularly the defensive mid position.

"Julia is a talented player. She can play a number of different positions and be effective in each one," said Red Stars Head Coach, Chris Petrucelli in a club statement. "She's proven to be a top player in Brazil, and we expect the same kind of success in the NWSL. She's still a young player so we're very excited about her future in Chicago."

Bianchi will join the team from Palmeiras where she played 77 matches and won three championships (Paulista Cup, Libertadores, and Paulista Championship). She was also the recipient of the 2020 Brasileirão Award for best 2020 defensive midfielder. defensive midfielder. Her arrival to the Red Stars will mark her first time playing in the league after stints with Kindermann, Centro Olimpico, Ferroviaria, Palmieras, and in Spain with Madrid CFF and Real Madrid.

"It ́s a new challenge in my career, I always wanted to play overseas again," Bianchi said. "I received this proposal from Chicago, I ́m very happy, I think this will be very important in my career. It's a very traditional club in the United States, they had a great season last year, so I'm very happy to be joining the group."

A young prospect with room to develop, the 25-year-old midfielder also brings a level of international experience to the Red Stars. She has represented Brazil at the youth level with U-17 and U-20 teams and has been a recent fixture among Brazil's senior women's national team. American fans will remember her efforts in the Tokyo Olympics and during the 2021 SheBelieves Cup where she scored against Canada.