By: Holden Collison
The 2021 NWSL Draft, which will be held virtually on Wednesday, January 13, provides an excellent opportunity for Sky Blue FC to bring in plenty of new talent to the Club. Following a trade with the Chicago Red Stars at the end of last year, Sky Blue now has four of the top 13 draft picks.
Finding success via the draft is nothing new for the team, as many of the previous years’ picks are still thriving with the Club.
Evelyne Viens was selected by Sky Blue FC at fifth overall in the 2020 NWSL Draft. The Canadian forward played collegiately at the University of South Florida from 2016-2019, where she scored an incredible 73 goals in just 77 appearances. Viens broke several of the AAC all-time records, including goals (73), goals per match (0.95), points (169), points per match (2.19), shots (360), and shots per match (4.68) throughout her career. Viens is currently on loan to Paris FC, where she has continued her stellar goal-scoring streak with seven goals in eleven appearances. During the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup with Sky Blue, Viens started one of her six appearances and recorded her first professional goal in 137 minutes.
Mandy McGlynn was drafted in the 2020 NWSL Draft with the 20th overall pick. The keeper played collegiate soccer with Virginia Tech, where she closed out her Hokie career by starting in her final 60 appearances. McGlynn showed true stability in the net, having conceded just five leads during her entire collegiate career. She helped lead the Hokies to a 41-1-2 record in matches where they had the lead at any point in time. Because of this dominance in goal, McGlynn was named to the All-ACC First Team twice in her career (2018, 2019). McGlynn has yet to make her professional debut but has been a member of the U.S. U-18, U-20, and U-23 Women’s National Teams throughout her young career.
Paige Monaghan was selected tenth overall in the 2019 NWSL Draft out of Butler University. As a forward with Butler from 2014-2018, the New Jersey native scored 22 goals in 80 appearances. Monaghan earned a spot on the 2017 and 2018 All-Big East First team and the 2017 Big East Offensive Player of the Year Award. In her young career with Sky Blue, she has already netted five goals and recorded two assists. Monaghan has played with the United States U-23 Women’s National Team and received her first senior team call-up in December of 2019. Monaghan ended 2020 being named the Budweiser Woman of the Week after scoring a brace in the final Fall Series match. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Monaghan has played 2,461 minutes and started 30 of her 33 appearances.
Kenie Wright was selected in the 2019 NWSL Draft at number 29 overall. The New Jersey midfielder played her collegiate career with Rutgers from 2015-2018. In 88 appearances, she scored two goals and recorded 13 assists. She opened her collegiate career by being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. She closed it out with awards for excellence both on and off the field by being named to the 2018 Academic All-Big Ten Team, the All-Big Ten Second Team, and was the recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. During her rookie season with Sky Blue, Wright played in five matches and recorded one assist in 187 minutes. Unfortunately, Wright suffered a torn ACL during the 2020 Challenge Cup and missed the tournament and the Fall Series while recovering.
Sabrina Flores was 34th overall in the 2019 NWSL Draft as a defender out of Notre Dame University. As a member of the Fighting Irish from 2014-2018, she was named to the All-ACC Honor Roll three separate years. Flores was a part of the 2015 CONCACAF championship U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team and the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup team. In 2019, she spent some time with Sevilla FC in Spain, where she developed her skills even more before returning to the NWSL. Flores led the defense in both touches and tackles in her first match back. Flores has also received invites to train with the Mexican National Team. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Flores has played 999 minutes and started 10 of her 14 appearances.
Imani Dorsey was selected fifth overall in the 2018 NWSL Draft as a forward out of Duke University. After her senior season, she was named the 2017 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and named to the 2017 All-ACC First team. Dorsey immediately excelled professionally, scoring four goals and recording one assist in 14 matches. This stellar performance earned her the 2018 Rookie of the Year award, making her only the second player for Sky Blue ever to do so. Dorsey played with the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team and received her first senior team call-up in October of 2019. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Dorsey has played 3,629 minutes, recorded 38 clearances and 73 interceptions, scored six goals, and notched one assist,
Mandy Freeman was selected tenth overall at the 2017 NWSL Draft after her impressive defensive career at the University of Southern California. Shortly after being drafted, Freeman was invited to a USWNT Training Camp following a successful camp with the U-23 team. She also was a member of U.S. U-17 and U-20 Women’s National Teams. As a member of Sky Blue, she immediately became a staple of the defense, starting in 41 of her total 42 appearances. Unfortunately, Freeman missed the 2019 season due to injury but made an incredible return for the 2020 Fall Series, where she started in all four of her appearances. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Freeman has played 3,887 minutes, recorded 145 clearances and 85 interceptions, and notched one assist.
Kailen Sheridan was selected in the third round of the 2017 NWSL Draft with the 23rd overall pick. The Canadian goalkeeper spent her college career with the Clemson Tigers from 2013-2016, where she was named to the All-ACC first team in both 2014 and 2015. Each year with Sky Blue, her save percentage went up from 63.8% in 2017 to 77.5% in 2019. She also led the league in saves in both 2018 and 2019 with 108 and 86, respectively. Since 2016, Sheridan has been a member of the Canadian Women’s National Team and was a member of the 2019 World Cup Roster. She was named the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Golden Glove winner after recording three clean sheets and made the final save in penalty kicks to send Sky Blue to the semifinals. She has also won four NWSL Save of the Week awards. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Sheridan has played 6,615 minutes and recorded 311 saves and 11 clean sheets.
Erica Skroski was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2016 NWSL Draft. The New Jersey native excelled collegiately at Rutgers as a defender before joining Sky Blue. She was named Big Ten Defender of the Year in her senior year and rightfully earned a place on the All-Big Ten First Team. Skroski also received several U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team call-ups in her young professional career. During her first four years at Sky Blue, Skroski started in 84 of her 85 total appearances. She also appeared in nine matches across the 2020 Challenge Cup and Fall Series, where she won 100% of her tackles and completed 91% of her passes. Across all competition with Sky Blue, Skroski has played 7,640 minutes, recorded 269 clearances and 157 interceptions, and scored two goals.
Sky Blue looks to add a few more names to this list in the 2021 NWSL Draft on January 13. The event can be streamed live on the NWSL Twitch starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.