Paige Monaghan is on Sky Blue FC’s preseason roster. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

HARRISON, N.J. – Sky Blue FC announced Monday its 28-player preseason roster for the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season.

The 2021 season begins with the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup April 9. The Challenge Cup will be followed by a 24-match regular season is scheduled to begin May 15 with Sky Blue FC playing home matches at Red Bull Arena.

Sky Blue will begin preseason without forward Carli Lloyd as she awaits to report to the U.S. women’s national team for the SheBelieves Cup. Lloyd will be joined on the USWNT roster by Midge Purce Feb. 8. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan will depart camp shortly to attend the Canadian women’s national team camp before the cup. Forward Evelyne Viens is completing a loan with French side Paris FC and is expected to join the squad in March, after completing her first invite to Canadian camp.

“I am pleased to welcome our players, both returning and some new faces, into preseason for 2021,” Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be getting back on the pitch after a shortened 2020 season and I believe we have assembled a fantastic mix of players that will compete and challenge each other every day to raise our level. I am looking forward to seeing the players come back to training with a fresh determination and hunger for success.”

The club enters training with 26 players in camp, including returning forwards Paige Monaghan, Ifeoma Onumonu, and Margaret “Midge” Purce; midfielders Nicole Baxter, Jennifer Cudjoe, Elizabeth Eddy, Nahomi Kawasumi, Sodam Lee, Domi Richardson, Kenie Wright, and McCall Zerboni; defenders Imani Dorsey, Caprice Dydasco, Mandy Freeman, Estelle Johnson, Gina Lewandowski, and Erica Skroski; and goalkeepers Kailen Sheridan, DiDi Haracic, Megan Hinz, and Amanda “Mandy” McGlynn.

South Korean midfielder Sodam Lee, an off-season acquisition, has recently arrived in market and will be joining the club this preseason in advance of her NWSL debut.

All of Sky Blue FC’s 2021 NWSL draft picks, including Brianna Pinto (University of North Carolina), Taryn Torres (University of Virginia), Delanie Sheehan (UCLA), and Tess Boade (Duke University), have elected to remain in college through at the least the conclusion of the college spring season.

Non-roster invitees include midfielders Taylor Aylmer, Grace Cutler, and Claire Winter and forward Mikaela Howell, who made her NWSL debut after she was signed to a short-term contract with Sky Blue during the 2020 Fall Series.

“With a brand new technical staff and many roster adjustments going into 2020, I was incredibly pleased with the progress and performances from last year, including our club’s first playoff appearance since 2013,” general manager Alyse LaHue said in a statement. “We are excited for the group of players we currently have rostered, both those here immediately and those that will be joining us later.”

Sky Blue FC Preseason Roster (28 players):

GOALKEEPERS (4): Kailen Sheridan (FED-CAN), DiDi Haracic, Megan Hinz, Amanda “Mandy” McGlynn

DEFENDERS (7): Imani Dorsey, Caprice Dydasco, Sabrina Flores, Mandy Freeman, Estelle Johnson, Gina Lewandowski, Erica Skroski

MIDFIELDERS (11): Taylor Aylmer (NRI), Nicole Baxter, Grace Cutler (NRI), Jennifer Cudjoe (INTL), Elizabeth Eddy, Nahomi Kawasumi (INTL), Sodam Lee (INTL), Domi Richardson, Claire Winter (NRI), Kenie Wright, McCall Zerboni

FORWARDS (6): Mikaela Howell (NRI), Carli Lloyd (FED-USA, NYR), Paige Monaghan, Ifeoma Onumonu, Margaret “Midge” Purce, Evelyne Viens (INTL, NYR)

2020 Federations Players (FED): 2
International Players (INTL): 4
Non-roster Invitees: 4

NRI – non-roster invitee
NYR – not yet reported to camp
FED – 2020 Federation Player
INTL – International Player