Freels becomes the latest Sky Blue FC to leave the fold

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by TOM SLATER

As the start of training camp approaches, Sky Blue FC has to start thinking about depth as an issue as new coach Christy Holly constructs his roster.

Today, stellar midfielder Katy Freels announced her decision to sit out the upcoming season, making her the third key player in 2016 to leave the Sky Blue FC fold. In a message on her Twitter account, Freels indicated she wanted to spend more time with her husband after spending six months a year apart.

Freels’ decision follows the trade of Nadia Nadim during the college draft and goalkeeper Brittany Cameron’s transfer to Japan. That’s three starters – a key goal-scorer, stellar midfielder and solid goalkeeper. Not a great way to start Holly ‘s first year as head coach.

Freel has been a mainstay since 2013 when Sky Blue FC picked her up in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Supplemental Draft. She remained with the club for her entire NWSL career. In three years, she started 54 matches with 11 goals and 12 assists.

Her stellar play in midfield was needed in 2016. With five key players missing time for the Women’s World Cup, Freels has five goals and an assist to provide most of the offense in the early part of the season. She provided confidence and poise on the ball as a central midfielder and was a tremendous influence on midfield partner rookie Sarah Killion.

“We want to thank Katy for all of her contributions over the past three years,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach in a released statement. “We have been very fortunate to have such a talented player here with us at Sky Blue FC and giving us her full dedication. We understand and respect how difficult it can be for a player to spend so much time away from her family, and we know this was not an easy decision for Katy. On behalf of myself and the entire Sky Blue FC organization, we want to wish Katy and her family nothing but the best.”

Sky Blue has now lost 11 goals and four assists with the departure of Nadim and Freels to go along with the league’s leader in saves (87) in Cameron. As it stands, the roster will now rely on their four draft picks — Raquel Rodriguez, Leah Galston, Erica Skroski and goalkeeper Caroline Casey – to play prominent roles in the upcoming season.

 

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