Sky Blue FC announced its 2017 20-player regular season roster on Monday. The New Jersey club will start its fifth National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season on Saturday, April 15, traveling to Memorial Stadium to take on Seattle Reign FC.
“We were able to present ourselves with some very difficult challenges throughout the preseason,” Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly said in a team press release. “Playing against such worthy opposition enabled us to make the tough decisions regarding who the best personnel would be for us going forward. Our attention is now fixated on Seattle to ensure that we play to our full potential this weekend.”
Sky Blue FC reduced its roster from 25 players to 20 in order to comply with the NWSL roster limit of 18-20 players. Transactions included the release of goalkeeper Kristyn Shea and midfielder Catrina Atanda, and the waiving of Kelly Conheeney and forwards Danielle Schulmann and Catherine Zimmerman.
Conheeney, Schulmann and Zimmerman were all members of the 2016 squad. Last season, Conheeney was a walk-on after an impressive showing at open tryouts, and started six matches over 13 appearances. She scored one goal during the 2016 campaign, the game-winner in Sky Blue FC’s 2-1 upset over Seattle in the season opener, which also marked the first loss the Reign suffered at Memorial Stadium.
Zimmerman made four starts in five matches after signing with the New Jersey club midseason. Schulmann, who also came through open tryouts, appeared in three contests. Atanda was a third round draft pick for Sky Blue FC in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, and Shea was a free agent.
Forward Tasha Kai has not yet reported to New Jersey. She is finishing her rehabilitation in Hawaii for an offseason ankle procedure.
2017 SKY BLUE FC ROSTERED PLAYERS - 20 of 20 Spots Filled
GOALKEEPERS (2): Caroline Casey, Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN)
DEFENDERS (6): Mandy Freeman, Kayla Mills, Christie Rampone, Domi Richardson*, Erin Simon, Erica Skroski
MIDFIELDERS (6): Daphne Corboz, Sarah Killion, Taylor Lytle, Raquel Rodriguez (INTL-CRC), Nikki Stanton, Madison Tiernan*
FORWARDS (7): Kim DeCesare, Leah Galton (INTL-ENG), Maya Hayes, Tasha Kai (OOM, D45), Sam Kerr (INTL-AUS), McKenzie Meehan*, Kelley O’Hara (FED-USA)
FEDERATION PLAYERS (FED): 2
INTERNATIONAL ROSTER SPOTS FILLED (INTL): 3
* Pending League Approval
FED - Federation Player
INTL – International Roster Spot
ROSTERED PLAYERS NOT COUNTED AGAINST ACTIVE LIMIT:
D45 - 45-Day Disabled List
SEI - Season Ending Injury List
GKR - Goalkeeper Replacement
MAT - Maternity
LOA - Loan
OOM – Out of Market