Rory Dames has been an integral fixture of youth soccer development in the Chicagoland area for more than two decades.
Through his years of hard work, Dames has made the Eclipse Select Soccer Club one of the best known and respected girls clubs in the country. Eclipse Select has won a number of national tournaments and has developed outstanding players who have gone on to the collegiate and professional ranks.
Dames’ path with Eclipse Select began in 1996, when the club consisted of only three teams. In 1997, Dames became the club’s director of coaching and player development, and he now serves as Eclipse Select’s President.
The club’s status reached new heights when it was named the No. 1 club on the 2007 Soccer America Top 20 Girls Clubs ranking in January. The recognition was the result of a 2006 campaign in which four teams qualified for nationals. In the years to follow, Eclipse Select’s girls program has regularly been a top-10 club.
Eclipse Select’s accomplishments:
ECNL: 3 national championships, 1 overall club national championship
USYSA: 7 national championships, 15 national finalists, 23 Region II championships, 30 MRL championships, 2 National League championships
US Club Soccer: 1 national finalist, 5 regional championships
IYSA: 54 State Cup championships
USASA: 5 national championships, 2 national finalists, 7 regional championships, 9 state championships
Chicago Red Stars:
Dames has served as head coach on Chicago’s professional women’s soccer team, the Chicago Red Stars, since 2011. The organization currently plays in the National Women’s Soccer League, which was formed in 2013. Here is a year-by-year rundown of the Red Stars’ accomplishments during Dames’ tenure:
2011: 8-1-0 regular season record, first place in the Midwest Conference’s North Division; runner-up to Orange County Waves in the Women’s Premier Soccer League Championship; Dames was named WPSL Midwest Coach of the Year
2012: 9-4-1 regular season record, fourth place; runner-up to the Western New York Flash in the WPSL Elite Championship; 2012 National Women’s Cup champion with a 3-1 victory against the New York Athletic Club on July 22
2013: 8-8-6 regular season record, sixth place; the Red Stars were one of eight founding members of the National Women’s Soccer League that year
2014: 9-7-8 regular season record, fifth place; the Red Stars just missed out on a postseason berth to the Washington Spirit by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker; the roster featured 2014 NWSL Rookie of the Year Julie Johnston
Additional coaching/technical roles:
In addition to Eclipse Select, Dames coached for his high school alma mater, serving as St. Viator’s varsity girls head coach for eight seasons from 1997-2005. During that time, he guided St. Viator to three IHSA Class A state championships in 2002, 2003 and 2005. His teams were consistently among the best in Illinois as the program also earned seven conference championships and seven regional titles under Dames’ guidance. Dames also serves as the US Club Soccer id2 National Girls Director in addition to his current head coaching duties with the Chicago Red Stars.
In high school, Dames played for St. Viator in Arlington Heights, where he graduated in 1991. He went on to play for Saint Louis University, where the program won several conference championships and made an NCAA Final Four appearance during Dames’ 1991 freshman season. That talented Billikens team also featured U.S. Soccer legend and National Soccer Hall of Famer Brian McBride. After college, Dames played professionally with the Rockford Raptors in the USISL.
Dames resides in Palatine with his wife Sarah and daughter Olivia.