Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced that it has exercised player options on nine players, while also extending new contract offers to nine additional players.
The New Jersey club exercised player options on defenders Cassidy Benintente, Mandy Freeman, Kayla Mills and Christie Pearce; midfielders Daphne Corboz, Sarah Killion and Madison Tiernan; and forwards Sam Kerr and McKenzie Meehan.
Of this group, the biggest surprise if she returns for the 2018 season will be Pearce, who many thought would retire from professional soccer this year after a Lifetime Player Profile piece aired back in July. Pearce also announced on August 18 that she would sit out the last portion of the 2017 campaign due to accumulative injuries, and missed six games in that span.
Players who have been extended a new contract include goalkeeper Caroline Casey; defenders Domi Richardson, Erin Simon and Erica Skroski; midfielders Taylor Lytle, Raquel Rodriguez, and Nikki Stanton; and forwards Leah Galton and Maya Hayes.
Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan remains on the Sky Blue FC roster as a 2017 Canadian subsidized player, and U.S. international Kelley O’Hara remains with the club as a 2017 Federation Player. Federation status for 2018 will be announced at a later date.
Forward Tasha Kai has officially been placed on the NWSL Re-Entry Wire. After stepping away from the game for five years, Kai signed with Sky Blue FC for the 2016 season. In her first year back with the club, she registered four goals and one assist, making 17 starts over 20 appearances.
Kai had procedures done on both ankles during the offseason, limiting her playing time for the 2017 campaign. The Kahuku, Hawaii native returned to the active roster in mid July, but only saw action in one game as a second-half substitute.