HOWELL, N.J. – Sky Blue FC Tuesday signed 2020 college draft picks Evelyne Viens and Kaleigh Riehl for the National Women’s Soccer League season.
Viens signed a two-year contract with a one-year option and Riehl inked a one-year contract with a one-year option. As per team and league policies, further details were not disclosed.
“As part of our draft day preparations it was imperative to us to look at players that would be excited and ready to join Sky Blue from day one and help take us to the next level,” Sky Blue general manager Alyse LaHue said. “Evelyne was always a top target for our club and, frankly, we did not think Kaleigh would be available at the No. 11 spot, so being able to bring in both players of this high caliber is tremendous.”
Viens, 23, joins Sky Blue FC after being selected with the No. 5 choice.
“I am excited to sign my first professional contract with Sky Blue FC,” Viens said. “I cannot wait to start the season and compete in this league. I am looking forward to playing at Red Bull Arena in front of our fans.”
A University of South Florida graduate, Viens played in 77 games and finished her career with 73 goals, 169 points, and 360 shots, claiming the all-time USF and American Athletic Conference records in all three categories. As a senior, Viens helped guide the Bulls to a program-high 16 wins and a third-round appearance in the NCAA Division tournament.
“Viens is a quality player that brings more pace to our roster and has the ability to find the back of the net,” head coach Freya Coombe said. “We are excited to get her transitioned into the professional game and watch her develop with Sky Blue.”
Viens scored 25 goals in her senior season, breaking season records for USF and the AAC. She holds the top spot on USF’s season list for shots (113) and game-winning goals (10). In the AAC, she holds the season record for points per game (2.65) and goals per game (1.25). She was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American three times and The American offensive player of the year twice.
Riehl, 23, was selected by Sky Blue with the 11th overall pick. During her Penn State career, she started all 101 games and was one of 11 Nittany Lions to earn multiple All-American honors. During her four seasons, Penn State won 72 games, two Big Ten regular season titles, three Big Ten Tournament titles and the 2015 NCAA Division I title.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to sign my first professional contract with Sky Blue FC,” Riehl said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the staff, players, and fans. It’s an exciting time for the club with the move into Red Bull Arena and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Riehl is the NCAA all-time leader in minutes played by a position player (8,847) and her 101 starts rank third all-time in Penn State history. As a senior, she earned United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American first team, United Soccer Coaches All-American second team, All-North Region first team, and All-Big Ten first team. In 2018, Riehl was a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist.
“We are very excited to welcome Kaleigh to Sky Blue,” Coombe said. “She has been such a leader for Penn State’s defense and shows such great quality on and off the ball. We look forward to her joining and learning from our experienced defenders.”
Riehl has been a part of the U.S. Under-23 women’s national team and was a member of the U.S. U-20 USWNT at the 2014 and 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup.