The National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) off-season has been plagued by player departures, and Sky Blue FC has not made it out of the off-season unscathed.
In a statement released by the team on Feb. 9, midfielder Hayley McCall announced her retirement from professional soccer.
"I am certainly going to miss the entire Sky Blue FC organization, including the amazing fans, the dedicated staff, the coaches, and of course, my friends and teammates," McCall said.
Although no reason was cited, it was noted that McCall got married in the off-season, which may have been a factor in her decision to retire.
"I am stepping away from the game fully confident that it is the right time for me, and I am extremely excited for the next chapter in life. I want to wish the organization the very best for this 2016 season," McCall added.
Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly thanked McCall for her time with the club, saying that she "showed last year what an important player she can be at this level."
Sky Blue FC President and General Manager Tony Novo also had high praises for McCall.
"Hayley is an incredible person and exemplifies the meaning of hard work and perseverance," Novo stated.
McCall, a Texas Tech graduate, was taken by Sky Blue FC as the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NWSL college draft. However, a torn ACL in a preseason match sidelined McCall for the entire 2014 season. McCall fought back from the injury and returned to Sky Blue’s 2015 roster, earning a spot in the start lineup and starting 15 out of 16 appearances. She also tallied one goal and one assist on the season.
McCall’s announcement is on the heels of a similar announcement by midfielder Katy Freels, who announced Feb. 5 that she would not be returning to Sky Blue FC for the 2016 season.