After undergoing surgery on both ankles in the off-season, including spending time in the 45-day disabled list this season, Tasha Kai has successfully completed her recovery process to return to Sky Blue’s active roster. Kai has yet to make her 2017 NWSL season debut. The move comes just in time as Sky Blue FC welcomes the Chicago Red Stars to New Jersey for Week 13.
By adding Kai to the active roster, Sky Blue also placed defender Erin Simon on the 45-day disabled list to recover from ankle surgery. Simon suffered a left foot fracture two weeks ago in the game against the North Carolina Courage. Sky Blue went on to win 1-0 in North Carolina, beginning the club’s two-game winning streak.
Kai will be available for playing time against the Red Stars, a team that Sky Blue has yet to beat in the five-year history of the NWSL. Sky Blue is 0-5-6 against the Chicago club with an 0-3-2 record at home. The last time Sky Blue came to nearly beating the Red Stars was earlier this season in Chicago three weeks ago on June 25, but the Red Stars managed to score two goals in the second half to keep Sky Blue winless against them.
Kai will undoubtedly provide an extra boost to a Sky Blue offense that has already amazed the league and its fans. There is much hype around 23-year old Australian international Sam Kerr who co-leads the league with the most goals this season, including a hat-trick that led to a comeback victory last week against FC Kansas City as well as becoming the NWSL’s all-time leading scorer. Kai’s experience will also benefit the young New Jersey team.
In the 2016 season, Kai appeared in 20 matches for Sky Blue and made 17 starts. The Hawaii native scored four goals and provided one assist.