Howell, N.J. (February 11, 2020) – Sky Blue FC has signed 2020 College Draft picks Evelyne Viens and Kaleigh Riehl ahead of the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League season. Viens signed a two-year contract with a one-year option and Riehl signed a one-year contract with a one-year option. Per team and league policies, further details were not disclosed.
“As part of our draft day preparations it was imperative to us to look at players that would be excited and ready to join Sky Blue from day one and help take us to the next level,” said General Manager Alyse LaHue. “Evelyne was always a top target for our club and, frankly, we did not think Kaleigh would be available at the No. 11 spot, so being able to bring in both players of this high caliber is tremendous.”
Viens, 23, joins Sky Blue FC after being selected with the No. 5 pick in this year’s College Draft, which took place on Thursday, January 16 in Baltimore, Maryland.
“I am excited to sign my first professional contract with Sky Blue FC,” said Viens. “I cannot wait to start the season and compete in this league. I am looking forward to playing at Red Bull Arena in front of our fans.”
A University of South Florida graduate, Viens played in 77 games and finished her career with 73 goals, 169 points, and 360 shots, claiming the all-time USF and American Athletic Conference records in all three categories. As a senior, Viens helped guide the Bulls to a program-high 16 wins and a third round appearance in the NCAA tournament.
“Viens is a quality player that brings more pace to our roster and has the ability to find the back of the net,” said Head Coach Freya Coombe. “We are excited to get her transitioned into the professional game and watch her develop with Sky Blue.”
Viens scored 25 goals in her senior season, breaking the single-season records for both USF and the AAC. She holds the top spot on USF’s single-season list for shots (113) and game-winning goals (10). In the AAC, she holds the single-season record for points per game (2.65) and goals per game (1.25). She was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American three times and The American Offensive Player of the Year twice.
Riehl, 23, was selected by Sky Blue with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft. During her Penn State career, she started all 101 games and is one of just 11 Nittany Lions to earn multiple All-American honors. During her four seasons of competition, Penn State won 72 games, two Big Ten regular season titles, three Big Ten Tournament titles, and the 2015 NCAA National Championship.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to sign my first professional contract with Sky Blue FC,” said Riehl. “I’m looking forward to meeting the staff, players, and fans. It’s an exciting time for the club with the move into Red Bull Arena and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Riehl is the NCAA all-time leader in minutes played by a position player (8,847) and her 101 starts rank third all-time in Penn State history. In her senior year, she earned United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American first team, United Soccer Coaches All-American second team, TopDrawerSoccer Best XI first team, All-North Region first team, and All-Big Ten first team. In 2018, Riehl was a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist.
“We are very excited to welcome Kaleigh to Sky Blue,” said Coombe. “She has been such a leader for Penn State’s defense and shows such great quality on and off the ball. We look forward to her joining and learning from our experienced defenders.”
Riehl has been a part of the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team and was a member of the U.S. U-20 WNT at the 2014 and 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Evelyne Viens [VEE-en]
Hometown: L’ancienne-Lorette, Canada
DOB: 2/6/1997 (23)
Kaleigh Riehl [Kay-lee Real]
Hometown: Fairfax Station, Va.
DOB: 10/21/1996 (23)