Sky Blue FC
Rachel Breton – MF – Rutgers – More proof that college form isn’t necessarily everything. Breton wasn’t much more than an average player with the Scarlet Knights but persevered and got her just reward as a member of SBFC’s reserve team last season, getting a call-up as an amateur player. She has experience in the system, but the competition for a spot this year is greater, so there’re no guarantees.
Caroline Brown – F – Tennessee – Looked like a potential star after a breakout season as a sophomore but has tailed off a bit since. Struggled with injury a season later and had difficulties gelling with fellow UT forward Hannah Wilkinson since. Can operate as a center forward or right winger and had her most efficient season in front of goal as a senior, though her shots on goal percentage was poor. Faces a tough road to a roster spot on this team though.
Ashley Clarke – MF – Seton Hall – Local native probably deserved more than to be buried on some abysmal Seton Hall teams but still managed to shine brightly during her final two seasons. Became first Pirate to win All-Region honors since 1999(!) as a senior. Fifteen assists the past two seasons at SHU, and SBFC really needs some midfield depth, so she’s got a decent shot.
Tricia DiPaolo – MF – Rutgers – Would be among the more unlikely stories to emerge in the short history of the NWSL if she makes it. Missed three full seasons with ACL injuries at Rutgers but received a rare seventh year of eligibility in 2013. Stayed healthy the past two seasons and probably played her best soccer of her career as a senior. Can her knees hold up given the physicality of this level? If they can, she’s got an outside shot at a spot.
Amanda Dutra – MF – Portland Thorns (Portland State) – Another player who was on the periphery last season, having been an amateur call-up for the Thorns mid-season. Was a star at Big Sky level in college for a formidable Portland State program, though her numbers weren’t spectacular. The smattering of pro experience, even in a training setting, could give her a small leg up towards sealing a roster spot.
Yirlania Arroyo Fonseca – GK – Arenosos (CRC) – One-time #1 in goal for Costa Rica has since been displaced in the full national team for last year’s Central American Games, which the team won over Nicaragua. Already has a lot against her with two starting calibre keepers in front of her and her international status making her odds of sticking on this roster very slim indeed.
DK Henry – F – FC Neunkirch (SUI) (Chattanooga) – Perhaps getting her just reward after laboring on some comically bad Chattanooga teams for four years in college. Had a stint with the WNY Flash in WPSL Elite before traveling abroad to Switzerland last Winter. Still a raw talent, so there’s upside but also a lot of competition for spots here.
Morgan Johnson – D – Seattle Sounders Women (Texas Tech) – Big, powerful defender was actually a late round-priority free agent grade player in last year’s draft class but chose to play with the W-League Sounders. Has the talent to fight for a roster spot, but boy, she could’ve picked a better situation to walk into. No shortage of center-backs here, meaning it’s real touch and go if she makes it, despite her ability.
Jodi-Ann McGregor – MF/F – Barbican (JAM) (Lindsey Wilson) – Jamaican international had a cup of coffee with Lindsey Wilson for a season collegiately before returning back to Jamaica and powerhouse club side Barbican FC. Was top scorer in the Jamaican domestic league this past season with twelve goals but faces a giant step up in class and needing to prove she’s worth an international slot.
Lauren Reilly – F – Hovas (SWE) (Fairfield) – New England product had a cup of coffee with both the reserve team of Boston and with the WPSL’s Mutiny. Had a nice career with regional minnows Fairfield in college but was last seen struggling to break into the team for Swedish second tier side Hovas, so you figure she’s a longshot to crack the active roster here.
Mallory Schaffer – MF/F – Seattle Reign FC (William & Mary) – Looking like a big bust already, having not even made it out of camp with the Reign last season despite being picked in the second round. Downward trend in scoring as a senior might have been a warning sign in retrospect. Spots open in midfield with SBFC, so if she can’t make it here, it might be the end of the road on this continent for her professional hopes.
Renee Washington – F – La Salle – Towering force in attack has been a key cog in the revival of La Salle over the past half decade. Looked like one of the best prospects in the nation after taking the A10 by storm as a rookie with twelve goals. Hasn’t quite turned into a superstar but was still consistently excellent for the Explorers for four years. Club needs a bigger option up top with a legion of quicker forwards, and Washington might have a chance to fill that role.
Best Bets: Clarke, Washington