The 2019 NWSL College Draft is almost here and Sky Blue FC will have to make moves if they want to avoid a repeat of their one win last season. The Draft will be held in Chicago on January 10th at 12 p.m. ET. The Draft can be followed along on the NWSL Facebook (Facebook.com/NWSL), Youtube page ( YouTube.com/NWSL), or the NWSL website. Sky Blue has picks 3, 4, 10, 11, 19, 28, and 34 in the Draft.
Sky Blue's drafts past
In the 2018 NWSL College Draft Sky Blue drafted, in order, Michaela Abam, Imani Dorsey, Amandine Pierre-Louis, Casey Murphy, and Kiana Palacios. Abam played in four matches before being waived in July to play abroad. Dorsey played in 13 games recording four goals and one assist, which led her to be named 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year. Pierre-Louis only played in three matches totaling 44 minutes. Murphy’s rights are with Sky Blue, but she is in France playing for Montpellier Hérault. Additionally Sky Blue retains Palacios rights, but she was not apart of the full roster in 2018.
Sky Blue ended up with the number two overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Savannah McCaskill, because of the Dispersal Draft. McCaskill was originally drafted by the Boston Breakers, but not too long after the College Draft it was announced the Boston Beakers were folding. Soon after all of the Breakers players were entered in the Dispersal Draft where the remaining nine NWSL teams could pick up players.
In 2017 Sky Blue drafted Kayla Mills, Mandy Freeman, Kailen Sheridan, Madison Tiernan, Catrina Atanda, and McKenzie Meehan. All except Mills and Atanda are still with the team.
Players gone in 2018
In November Klepp Elite of Norway’s Topp Serien announced Amanda Frisbie would be joining the club. Also going to Norway is Rebekah Stott, the New Zealand native is headed to Avaldsnes. It was reported by Dan Lauletta on Twitter that Katie Johnson is likely headed to a club in England.
Who they need
To keep the story short Sky Blue need a lot of help, and drafting some defenders is not going to fix all their problems. They have pulled out of a new stadium deal, are still under the same ownership, have lost a number of players in 2018, and their supporters group Cloud 9 is refusing to renew season tickets because the club has not found new owners or a new GM. No one should expect players drafted by Sky Blue fix their mess, sure they could help win more than one game, but that’s not getting at the heart of the problems there.
With that being said the club needs defenders, especially with Stott and Frisbie moving on. Hailie Mace has not yet registered for the draft, but if she does she should be Sky Blue’s top target. Mace played four years at UCLA with experience with the youth national teams and a cap for the USWNT. Mace can play as a defender or as a forward, which can be very beneficial to a club who had a problem stopping goals and scoring them. Another great addition would be New Jersey native, Julie Ashley. Ashley is a defender out of UNC that helped the team go all the way to the Championship match of the College Cup. Sky Blue has a history of drafting Rutgers alumni with such close ties to the school, you know because they both play at Yurcak Field. Erica Skroski and Madison Tiernan have both gone from Rutgers to Sky Blue together, just one year apart. Madison Pogarch and Kenie Wright are the two Rutgers players on the preliminary list of players registered for the draft. Pogarch played three seasons at Central Michigan before transferring to Rutgers. She is listed as a forward, midfielder, and defender, but played as a defender for the Scarlet Knights. Wright is a New Jersey native who has played four years as a defender, but is listed as a midfielder and defender.