Baxter, Benintente and Cudjoe Join Club for 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup
Sky Blue FC has signed midfielder Nicole Baxter, defender Cassidy Benintente, and midfielder Jennifer Cudjoe to short-term contracts. Per team and league policies, further details were not disclosed.
Cassidy Benintente joins Sky Blue’s roster after several successful years in Europe. She spent 2019 in Sweden playing for Asarums IF FK in the Elitettan Division. Prior to that, Benintente played in Romania for 2018, where she competed in the 2018 UEFA Women’s Champions League. Sky Blue fans may recognize Benintente, as she played with the team briefly in 2017 and 2018 before heading overseas. In her college career at Rutgers, Benintente was a part of the team’s historic 2015 season, where they reached the final four for the first time in program history.
Sky Blue has also signed midfielder Nicole Baxter, who was previously with the team as a National Team Replacement player in 2019. Before her time at Sky Blue, she played with Asarums IF FK in Sweden in 2019, starting all ten games for the club. Baxter had a successful campaign in 2018 with Telge United FF in Sweden’s first division, where she scored three goals and recorded six assists across 22 games. Before her professional career, Baxter played at The College of William and Mary and was named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team and All-CAA First Team in her senior season.
Midfielder Jennifer Cudjoe will also be joining Sky Blue on a short-term contract. As a member of Ghana’s Women’s National Team, Cudjoe brings several years of international experience to the club. In her youth career, she represented Ghana in both the U17 and U20 Women’s World Cups. She then went on the play for Ghana’s full team, the Black Queens, and was named the Female Footballer of the Year by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana in 2015. Cudjoe began her career in the U.S. at Northeastern State University, where she earned the NJCAA Player of the Year award in 2014. She then played for Asheville City SC in the WPSL and was named to the league’s All-Star team on three separate occasions.
“We are pleased to add Cassidy, Nicole and Jennifer to our squad,” said Head Coach Freya Coombe. “Nicole is developing as a good playmaker in center midfield and is able to provide a quality final ball. Cassidy shows a real level of comfort on the ball under pressure and is great at attacking out of the back. Jennifer was a surprise coming out of open tryouts and is a great addition, bringing a different dimension to our offense as well as adding quality on both sides of the ball.”
The three players have signed with Sky Blue in preparation for the upcoming 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. The tournament begins on June 27, with Sky Blue’s first game set for kick-off at 10:00 p.m. ET on June 30 against OL Reign. All preliminary round matches will be streamed on CBS All Access, and fans outside of the U.S. and Canada will be able to watch on Twitch.
Hometown: Pennington, N.J.
College: William & Mary
DOB: 5/12/1994 (26)
Hometown: Jackson, N.J.
DOB: 6/12/1994 (26)
Hometown: Takoradi, Ghana
College: Northeastern State University
DOB: 3/7/1994 (26)