If Caroline Stanley’s father’s Instagram account is right, it appears the goalkeeper will be joining Sky Blue FC for the 2016 season.
On Saturday, March 5, David Stanley posted a picture on his Instagram account of his daughter drinking a cup of coffee with the caption "With this one…before she’s off to New Jersey Sky Blue for her 2nd pro season!"
The post’s caption has since been changed to omit the team’s name, but not before screen shots of the Instagram post began making rounds on social media sites.
It was also noted that on Feb. 11 Stanley retweeted Sky Blue FC’s tweet announcing Tasha Kai’s signing with the team, and on Feb. 18 she retweeted Sky Blue’s tweet announcing its 2016 schedule. The last tweet has since been deleted.
Stanley also follows a number of Sky Blue-related Twitter accounts, including the team's account and those of head coach Christy Holly, newly-appointed assistant coach and former goalkeeper Jill Loyden and Kai.
While this is pure speculation, this off-season has seen multiple social media posts, especially those on Twitter, foreshadow signing announcements.
But why would Stanley be coming to Sky Blue when there are already two goalkeepers on the roster?
The answer is simply that Brittany Cameron, the woman between the posts for Sky Blue the past three seasons, is rumored to have extended her contract with her Japanese club team Vegalta Sendai through the NWSL season.
Despite these rumors, Sky Blue FC's website still lists Cameron on the 2016 roster, and the team has yet to release any official statement regarding Cameron's departure from the team for the upcoming season.
If Cameron does stay in Japan though, it will be a major loss to Sky Blue. Not only did Cameron play in all 20 matches last season, but she led the NWSL with 87 saves, had a league-best average of 4.35 saves per game and recorded four shutouts. Not surprisingly, she was also voted Sky Blue’s Most Valuable Player in the 2015 team awards.
In comparison to Cameron, Stanley trained with the Seattle Reign FC in the 2015 preseason before being cut from the senior roster. She was called back into camp for a match-up against, of all teams, Sky Blue on May 9, 2015. Stanley was to serve as backup keeper to Haley Kopmeyer once starting goalkeeper Hope Solo was called away for duty with the U.S. National Women’s Team.
Stanley then officially signed with the Reign in July 2015. However, she only played in one match, an Aug. 1 match-up against the Boston Breakers in which she had one save. The Reign defeated the Breakers 2-1.
In December 2015, the Reign waived Stanley, presumably to make room for their last-round pick of the 2016 National Women's Soccer League's college draft, University of Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke.
Although young, Stanley could prove to be an asset to Sky Blue. She does have professional experience, something that the rookie Caroline Casey, the William & Mary goalkeeper Sky Blue took in the third round of the 2016 draft, will not have.
She also trained alongside Hope Solo, one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world. That, combined with training under Loyden, could end up providing Stanley with a wealth of knowledge that could provide invaluable at Sky Blue.