Some of the team’s critics said that it couldn’t be done, but Sky Blue FC Friday signed the 11th overall pick in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League college draft, midfielder Julie James.
Given the team’s problems last season, several media outlets said it would be difficult for the club to sign its top draft choices.
Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not announced.
“I am honored to have been drafted by Sky Blue FC,” James said. “Many people have helped me get here – my parents, my fiancé, Connor, the Baylor [University] staff and community and coach Rodney Doyle and the Full Armour program. I am excited to get to work with this team and to see what the future holds for this program!”
James, 22, tallied 20 goals and 13 assists in 88 appearances while at Baylor University.
“Julie prides herself on her willingness to prepare and on her strong mentality which I believe will give her a huge advantage coming into the league,” head coach Denise Reddy said. “Her consistency and dominant aerial game will be a great contribution to our squad.”
In her senior year James was named as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy Award and became the first student-athlete in program history to earn United Soccer Coaches All-America first team honors. She is also the first student-athlete from Baylor to be drafted into the NWSL.
The two-time captain logged more minutes (7809) than any other player in school history and finished in the top 10 all-time for career goals scored and points totaled.
James also played with the Under-23 U.S. women’s national team three times.