The 2019 National Women’s Soccer League preseason kicked off on Monday, March 4, and Sky Blue FC Head Coach Denise Reddy invited 28 players to the club’s first day of preseason camp.
Thirteen of Sky Blue’s 2018 squad returned, with the omission of backup goalkeeper Caroline Casey. Sources close to Sky Blue FC told Once a Metro that Casey had decided to retire following her third NWSL season.
United States women’s national team veteran midfielder Carli Lloyd once again joins Sky Blue as U.S. federation player, although she will be reporting to the club following her national team duty at the USWNT-hosted SheBelieves Cup.
Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was also once again allocated as a federation player to Sky Blue, although she is also currently away on international duty, competing with Canada at the Algarve Cup.
Defenders Caprice Dydasco and Estelle Johnson and goalkeeper Didi Harcic, all of whom were acquired by Sky Blue in a draft day trade with the Washington Spirit, were included on the roster, as well as former Japanese-international forward Nahomi Kawasumi, acquired in a trade with Reign FC in return for Shea Groom.
Six of Sky Blue’s 2019 draft picks—including the recently-signed Paige Monaghan and Julie James—are also included on the preseason roster. As reported during the offseason, Sky Blue’s top two draft picks, Hailie Mace and Julia Ashley, were reluctant to report to Sky Blue following being drafted by the New Jersey-based club. Both players have since elected to sign with Swedish clubs, FC Rosengård and Linköpings FC, respectively.
Sky Blue FC plays its first preseason match on Saturday, March 16 at 3 p.m. against St. John’s University. The team will then take on the University of West Virginia on Saturday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m. before hosting Rutgers, the team with whom they share their home field, on Friday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. Sky Blue closes out the 2019 preseason on Saturday, April 4 at 3 p.m. against the University of North Carolina.
All preseason matches will be played at Sportika Sports in Manalapan, N.J. and are free to the public.
Sky Blue FC will kick off the regular season on Saturday, April 13 on the road against the Spirit. Their first home match of the year will be played the following Saturday, April 20 when they take on the Houston Dash at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field.
The full 2019 preseason roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Grace Bendon (NRI), Didi Haracic (NYR), Kaylan Marckese (CDP), Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN; NYR)
DEFENDERS (8): Caprice Dydasco, Sabrina Flores (CDP), Mandy Freeman, Asako Ideue (NRI), Estelle Johnson, Amandine Pierre-Louis, Domi Richardson, Erica Skroski
MIDFIELDERS (10): Imani Dorsey, Julie James, Sarah Killion, Carli Lloyd (FED-USA, NYR), Paige Monaghan, Gabriela Morais (NRI), Shade Pratt (NRI), Raquel Rodriguez, Madison Tiernan, Kenie Wright (CDP)
FORWARDS (6): Kyra Carusa (CDP), Nahomi Kawasumi, Jen Hoy, Savannah McCaskill, McKenzie Meehan, Elle Sweeney (NRI)
FED - 2019 Federation Player
CDP - 2019 NWSL College Draft pick
NRI - Non-Roster Invitee
NYR - Not Yet Reported to Camp