Carli Lloyd was the lone U.S. international allocated to Sky Blue FC. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
TINTON FALLS, N.J. – In an announcement that was not surprising, the National Women’s Soccer League Thursday unveiled its official list of allocated players for the 2018 season with Sky Blue FC having four players who will participate as Federation Players this year.
Midfielder Carli Lloyd was allocated to Sky Blue FC by U.S. Soccer, while forwards Janine Beckie, Adriana Leon and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan were allocated to the club by Canada Soccer.
“Players who bring international experience are very valuable to the team as a whole,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said. “We will look for these players to give significant contributions to our training environment on a daily basis, and they will play an important role in the development of our team over the course of the upcoming season.”
Sheridan returns to Sky Blue FC as a Federation Player for the second consecutive year after the former Clemson University standout was taken as the No. 23 overall selection in the 2017 NWSL college draft. She has been in the Canada national team system since she was 15-years-old, making her debut for the senior side in March 2016. The Ontario native inserted herself into the Sky Blue FC Starting XI in 2017, starting the opening 22 matches of her rookie season. She played 1,980 minutes, which was tied for third most in the NWSL. Her nine wins were the fourth-most in the league, while her 84 saves were the third-highest mark.
Lloyd was acquired by Sky Blue FC in January following a three-team trade with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash. The New Jersey native played her college soccer at Rutgers University and made her debut for the USWNT in 2005. Approaching 250 international caps and 100 international goals, Lloyd has been known to rise tallest on the grandest of stages. She scored the game-winning goal in the gold-medal match of the 2008 and 2012 Olympics also registered a hat-trick in the opening 16 minutes of the 2015 Women’s World Cup final against Japan. She finished the competition with six goals and received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. She capped off the year by being voted the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, again winning similar accolades in 2016. She was also voted the runner-up to the award in 2017.
Beckie was part of the trade where Sky Blue FC acquired Lloyd. A dual-citizen of Canada and the United States, she spent the first three years of her life in Saskatchewan before moving to Colorado. She attended Texas Tech University and became the all-time leading goal-scorer in program history by registering 57 goals. After playing with the Canada Under-20 women’s national team, Beckie made her debut for the Canada senior side in 2015. The eighth overall selection in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, Beckie scored three goals in the 2016 Rio Olympics to help Canada earn a bronze medal. In two seasons with the Dash, Beckie recorded five goals and three assists in 33 starts over 38 appearances.
Leon was selected by Sky Blue FC in the 2018 NWSL dispersal draft after having her best season in the league last year as she finished second on the Boston Breakers with six goals and a team-best six assists. The Ontario native began her NWSL career in 2013 with Boston, but she spent most of her first three seasons with the Red Stars. She made the move to the Western New York Flash ahead of the 2016 campaign before joining FC Zürich Frauen of the Swiss Nationalliga A that August. After three years with the Canada U-20 women, Leon made her senior debut in 2012. She represented Canada at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She has registered eight goals in 44 international appearances.