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Caroline Casey officially returns to Sky Blue FC

The goalkeeper officially signs with SBFC in the wake of Erin Nayler's unexpected departure.

Robyn McNeil (ISI Photos)

Less than a day after Erin Nayler tweeted that she was leaving New Jersey and, presumably, Sky Blue FC (2-3-1, 7 points), the team announced that it had signed goalkeeper Caroline Casey in advance of their road match Sunday night against the Chicago Red Stars (4-1-1, 13 points).

Casey, who was Sky Blue’s third-round draft pick in the 2016 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) college draft, started the first two matches of the 2016 NWSL season for the New Jersey-based club. She made her professional debut in the season opener against the Seattle Reign FC, in which she had an impressive seven saves to help Sky Blue to a 2-1 win over the Reign, handing the Reign their first ever loss at Memorial Stadium.

"We are very happy for Caroline," Head Coach Christy Holly said in a statement released by the team. "She has worked tremendously hard since she arrived here in New Jersey, and she has shown incredible signs of improvement."

Despite starting the first two matches for Sky Blue, Casey was replaced by Caroline Stanley after a disappointing loss to the Washington Spirit, and Stanley has played in goal for Sky Blue in every game since.

When Sky Blue signed New Zealand-international keeper Erin Nayler to the roster at the start of this month, Casey was waived to make room on the roster for her. However, Casey stayed with the team and it seemed as though she would step back in as the backup goalkeeper once Nayler left to play with the New Zealand Women’s National Team in the Olympics.

Now that Nayler has departed Sky Blue, Casey has once again been called back up to Sky Blue’s roster. No official word has been released by Nayler or Sky Blue FC regarding the goalkeeper’s early departure from the team, but it seems as though the parting was not exactly an amicable one.

Nayler’s departure came just a day after the team announced it had waived midfielder Ashley Nick.

Sky Blue FC next takes on the Chicago Red Stars Sunday, May 29 at 7 p.m. EST. The game will be streamed live on the NWSL Soccer YouTube channel.