2019 NWSL season recap: Sky Blue FC
Photo Credit: Brad Smith- ISI Photos/Getty Images

There is still plenty of room for improvement from Sky Blue FC but the team made great strides this season compared to just a season ago. In the 2018 season, Sky Blue FC only had nine points and didn’t earn their first win until the last game of the season. This season the  team ended with a 5-14-5 record on the season. 

Kailen Sheridan a constant in net

Even though Kailen Sheridan was gone during the Women’s World Cup with Canada, she still finished the season tied with Aubrey Bledsoe for the most saves this season. In her third season with the team, she continues to be a beast in the net. Sheridan started 19 games playing 1,710 minutes this season, registering 86 saves and a 77.5% save success rate.

Biggest Wins: July 6, 2019 vs Chicago Red Stars, September 21, 2019 vs Reign FC

With an early goal in the 23rd minute from Raquel Rodriguez, Sky Blue took a 1-0 lead over the Chicago Red Stars. Then in the 81st minute Jen Hoy added to the teams lead with another goal. The match ended 2-1 with Danielle Colaprico scoring a goal for Chicago. The win against Chicago was the first of the season for the club. The team also defeated the Red Stars in August thanks to two goals from Paige Monaghan. 

Against Reign FC, the Reign were looking to help their position in the playoffs while Sky Blue was looking to play upset to the Reign’s hopes on the road in Tacoma, Washington. The game was without a goal until the 77th minute when Carli Lloyd finished off a 1-on-1 chance against Casey Murphy. The goal secured the 1-0 win and three points for Sky Blue. 

Red Bull Arena

This season Sky Blue played two matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, including their last home game of the season. The first match that the team played there they drew a franchise attendance record of 9,415 and got a 1-1 draw against Reign FC. Due to the popularity from the first match at Red Bull and the high demand of tickets Sky Blue was able to move their home finale against the Orlando Pride to Red Bull Arena. In that last match the club drew an attendance of 8,314 fans and rewarded the crowd with a 1-1 draw to end the season. Next season we could see Sky Blue FC play even more games at Red Bull. 

Looking for a new head coach

In June, the club relieved Denise Reddy of her head coaching duties after her being the head coach for a season and a half.  In September, it was announced that the club hired Freya Coombe as the interim head coach, after the official announcement was made of her hiring the team went 1-1-3. It’s unclear whether Coombe will be named the permanent head coach but Sky Blue will be looking to name a head coach during the offseason. 

New additions help the team

Over the offseason,and a mid season trade, Sky Blue added nine new players. Caprice Dydasco, Estelle Johnson, and Didi Haracic all came over from the Washington Spirit and proved to be vital to the team. Dydasco played 23 games and 2,028 minutes in the backline for the club. Johnson was a big part of the defense also playing 15 games this season, she missed time during the World Cup playing with Cameroon. Nahomi Kawasumi was also an important acquisition, she was acquired by the club from Reign FC and featured in 19 games for the club. In June, Sky Blue was able to bring Elizabeth Eddy over to the club from the North Carolina Courage. Eddy was able to net one goal for the club. Gina Lewandoski started 12 matches as a defender this season after coming over from FC Bayern Munich in May. 

Three draftees were huge for the team this season, Paige Monaghan, Julie James Doyle, and Kenie Wright. Monaghan played in all but one game this season, scoring two goals and one assist. Those two goals from Monaghan led Sky Blue to win over the Chicago Red Stars and she was named Player of the Week for week 18. Doyle saw action in 16 games for the club in the midfield and registered one assist.