Prior to the start of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, Sky Blue FC has announced its official roster for the tournament starting on June 27 in Utah.
“I feel so confident about this roster heading into the NWSL Challenge Cup,” said team-captain Sarah Woldmoe (formerly Killion). “We all put in the work individually during quarantine and have really put it all together collectively now. Every day I get to work with teammates who are giving it their all to improve and prepare. It’s a fantastic feeling to know that we have the talent and drive to take us all the way. We are ready to go and we are so excited for this tournament.”
“I am really happy with the team we have built at Sky Blue since the end of last season,” said Sky Blue FC Head Coach Freya Coombe. “We have blended a talented group of experienced senior players, new signings, and some young players wanting to showcase their talent in the league. They have responded well as a group through the adversity of the last few months and have shown great resilience and mental agility. The squad continues to challenge each other every day in practice and is ready to compete for a Championship.”
Two veterans of the NWSL will be debuting for Sky Blue this year in forward Midge Purce, acquired via a trade with Portland Thorns FC in January, and midfielder McCall Zerboni, acquired via a trade with the North Carolina Courage in January. All four of the Club’s 2020 NWSL Draft picks, forward Evelyne Viens,defender Kaleigh Riehl, goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn, and defender Chantelle Swaby, have signed contracts with the team and are on the official Challenge Cup roster. Additionally, midfielders Cassidy Benintente and Nicole Baxter, and defender Jennifer Cudjoe have signed short-term contracts with the Club for the tournament. Finally, defender Sabrina Flores has inked a two-year deal with Sky Blue after having appeared in 2019 matches as a National Team Replacement player.
“There was a tremendous amount of work in the off-season to build out this roster for 2020,” said Sky Blue FC General Manager Alyse LaHue. “We are incredibly proud to call all these players a member of Sky Blue and can’t wait to see them compete in the NWSL Challenge Cup together.”
Contracted players that are not on the roster due to injury include Caprice Dydasco (Right ACL), Carli Lloyd (Left Knee), and Mallory Pugh (Right Hip).
Pugh, a U.S. allocated player acquired by Sky Blue in January via a trade with the Washington Spirit, suffered a right hip injury while training this off-season. She officially reported to the Club during the full-team training phase of the pre-season. Pugh, 22, will be requiring additional time to fully recover and the decision was made to forego playing in the NWSL Challenge Cup. Dydasco suffered a torn ACL in her right knee during a small group training drill. Lloyd is also out with a minor left knee injury.
2020 Sky Blue FC NWSL Challenge Cup Roster:
Rostered Players (26 of 28 spots filled):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Didi Haracic, Megan Hinz, Amanda “Mandy” McGlynn, Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN)
DEFENDERS (7): Sabrina Flores, Mandy Freeman, Estelle Johnson, Gina Lewandowski, Kaleigh Riehl, Erica Skroski, Chantelle Swaby
MIDFIELDERS (11): Cassidy Benintente, Nicole Baxter, Jennifer Cudjoe (INTL-GHA), Elizabeth Eddy, Naho Kawasumi (INTL-JPN), Margaret “Midge” Purce, Domi Richardson, Madison Tiernan, Sarah Woldmoe, Kenie Wright, McCall Zerboni
FORWARDS (4): Imani Dorsey, Paige Monaghan, Ifeoma Onumonu, Evelyne Viens (INTL-CAN)
Federations Players (FED): 1
International Players (INTL): 3
FED – 2020 Federation Player
INTL – International Player