Sky Blue will play at Seattle Reign FC in its NWSL season opener Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

Sky Blue FC Monday trimmed down its roster to 20 players as the team puts the finishing touches to the start of the National Women’s Soccer League season.

The visits Seattle Reign FC at Memorial Stadium for its season opener Saturday night.

“We were able to present ourselves with some very difficult challenges throughout the preseason,” Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly. “Playing against such worthy opposition enabled us to make the tough decisions regarding who the best personnel would be for us going forward. Our attention is now fixated on Seattle to ensure that we play to our full potential this weekend.”

Sky Blue FC reduced its roster from 25 to 20 players. That included the release of goalkeeper Kristyn Shea and midfielder Catrina Atanda and the waiving of Kelly Conheeney and forwards Danielle Schulmann and Catherine Zimmerman.

Conheeney, Schulmann and Zimmerman were members of the 2016 Sky Blue FC roster. Last season, Conheeney came through open tryouts and scored one goal, making six starts over 13 appearances.

After signing in the midseason last year, Zimmerman made four starts in five matches played. Schulmann, who also came through open trials, appeared in three contests. Atanda was a 2017 NWSL college draft selection of Sky Blue FC, while Shea arrived at the team as a free agent.

Forward Tasha Kai has not yet reported to New Jersey while she finishes up rehabilitation in Hawaii for an offseason ankle procedure.

The roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Caroline Casey, Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN)

DEFENDERS (6): Mandy Freeman, Kayla Mills, Christie Rampone, Domi Richardson*, Erin Simon, Erica Skroski

MIDFIELDERS (6): Daphne Corboz, Sarah Killion, Taylor Lytle, Raquel Rodriguez (INTL-CRC), Nikki Stanton, Madison Tiernan*

FORWARDS (7): Kim DeCesare, Leah Galton (INTL-ENG), Maya Hayes, Tasha Kai (OOM, D45), Sam Kerr (INTL-AUS), McKenzie Meehan*, Kelley O’Hara (FED-USA)




* Pending League Approval
FED – Federation Player
INTL – International Roster Spot

D45 – 45-Day Disabled List
SEI – Season Ending Injury List
GKR – Goalkeeper Replacement
MAT – Maternity
LOA – Loan
OOM – Out of Market

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at