Sky Blue FC acquired three new players in Tuesday’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) dispersal draft.
The New Jersey-based club selected forward Savannah McCaskill with the No. 2 overall pick, Canadian international forward/midfielder Adriana Leon with the No. 18 overall pick and defender Amanda Frisbie with the No. 19 overall pick.
Sky Blue then passed on the No. 36 pick, thereby ending their participation in the draft.
The dispersal draft came just two days after the NWSL announced that the Boston Breakers were officially ceasing operations ahead of the 2018 season. As a result, the league held a dispersal draft of all players contracted with, drafted by or whose rights were held by the Breakers
Sky Blue was awarded the No. 1 overall pick in a random weighted drawing Monday morning. However, the club traded the No. 1 spot with the Washington Spirit in return for the No. 2 overall spot and two picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft—a conditional first round pick and the Spirit’s natural second round pick.
With that No. 2 overall pick, Sky Blue Head Coach Denise Reddy selected McCaskill, coincidentally taken as the No. 2 overall pick in Jan. 18’s NWSL College Draft. The 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy finalist is the two-time reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year and was crucial to South Carolina being crowned back-to-back SEC regular season champions (2016-2017).
McCaskill’s role in the Gamecocks’ attack last season helped the team make their first ever appearance in the College cup and earned her a call-up to the senior U.S. women’s national team camp in January. She completed her collegiate career with 40 goals and 34 assists recorded in 92 appearances for the Gamecocks.
Next up for Sky Blue was Leon, a Canadian international attacker who saw a return to Canada’s national team last year after a stellar season with Boston. In 2017 Leon started 21 of the 24 games she appeared in, scoring six goals and registering six assists on the season. For her efforts she was named the NWSL Player of the Week twice (Weeks 3 and 21) during the 2017 season.
Leon was previously rostered with the Breakers in 2013 for the inaugural NWSL season before being traded to the Chicago Red Stars. She was later traded to the now-defunct Western New York Flash in 2015, where she played until going overseas the following season.
At the international level, Leon has 25 starts in 44 caps with the Canadian WNT, where she plays alongside Sky Blue FC teammates Janine Beckie and Kailen Sheridan. She currently has scored eight goals for her country.
With their final pick of the dispersal draft, Sky Blue selected defender Amanda Frisbie, currently on loan with Perth Glory of Australia’s W-League, the same club as Sky Blue’s Raquel Rodriguez. Frisbie was signed as a discovery player by the Breakers ahead of the 2017 season following a stint playing for Stjarnan Women in Iceland’s top-tier women’s soccer league.
Before playing in Iceland, Frisbie was drafted by the Seattle Reign as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 draft. However, she missed her rookie season due to injury and was traded to the Flash the following year. She made two starts in four appearances for the club but was again traded at the end of the season, this time to FC Kansas City. There she started in all three appearances for the club before being waived.
Although Frisbie’s path through the NWSL has been rocky, she adds some much needed depth to Sky Blue’s defense.
Sky Blue currently has 30 players listed on its roster ahead of the 2018 season. NWSL regulations allow teams to carry 18-20 players on their rosters per season. However, none of the three players taken in the dispersal draft will count against the club’s roster limit, salary cap or permitted team assistance cap, and Leon will not cost Sky Blue an international spot for the 2018 season.
SKY BLUE FC’S 2018 ROSTER
Goalkeepers (3): Caroline Casey, Casey Murphy, Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN)
Defenders (10): Cassidy Benintente, Mandy Freeman, Amanda Frisbie (BOS), Christina Gibbons, Kayla Mills, Amandine Pierre-Louis, Domi Richardson, Erin Simon, Erica Skroski, Rebekah Stott (INTL-NZ)
Midfielders (7): Daphne Corboz, Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd (FED-USA), Kiana Palacios, Raquel Rodriguez (INTL-CRC), Thaisa (INTL-BRA), Madison Tiernan
Forwards (10): Michaela Abam, Janine Beckie (FED-CAN), Imani Dorsey, Shea Groom, Maya Hayes, Jen Hoy, Katie Johnson, Adriana Leon (BOS, FED-CAN), Savannah McCaskill (BOS), McKenzie Meehan