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Caitlin Foord signs with Vegalta Sendai, officially out of NWSL

The Australian-international skipped Sky Blue’s 2016 season but sources said she had not ruled out a return to the team or league.

Caitlin Foord officially leaves NWSL, signing instead with Vegalta Sendai in Japan’s Nadeshiko League 1.
Robyn McNeil, Sky Blue FC

Caitlin Foord, former defender for Sky Blue FC and a current member of the Australian women’s national team, has officially signed with Vegalta Sendai of Japan’s Nadeshiko League 1, ending any Sky Blue and NWSL fans’ lingering hopes of Foord returning to stateside.

The signing was announced on Vegalta Sendai’s website Tuesday, January 31. An Australian news outlet first reported a potential signing in Japan for Foord back in December, and shortly thereafter, Foord confirmed the plans in a Facebook live video for the Matildas, although she said nothing was official at that time.

Foord debuted for Sky Blue FC during its inaugural NWSL season in 2013 and played with the team through 2015, making 46 appearances and recording three assists at outside back for the New Jersey side. However, Foord opted not to return to the club for the 2016 season although neither Foord nor the club made a statement regarding her decision.

Rumors swirled around the league that the Australian-international was looking to return to the NWSL for the second half of its 2016 season, although many fans speculated a trade would happen to see Foord land in Orlando. Sources confirmed Tom Sermanni, head coach of the Pride, was indeed trying to get Foord to bolster his roster, but no deal could be made.

Instead, Lisa De Vanna, another Aussie and former-Sky Blue FC player, was brought to the Pride late in the season while Foord remained in Australia preparing for the Westfield W-League season, where she would be making her return to Sydney FC, coincidentally nicknamed the Sky Blues.

With the signing, Foord rejoins former Sky Blue FC teammate Brittany Cameron, who was first loaned to the Japanese club in 2014, Like Foord, Cameron opted not to return to Sky Blue FC for the 2016 season, staying to play with her Japanese club instead.