NWSL College Draft: Sky Blue FC picks Clemson GK, Rutgers forward

sheridan welcome

by TOM SLATER

Sky Blue FC followed up two first strong selections with four more in the final two rounds, making it a very good day for Sky Blue FC.

As expected, Sky Blue FC picked a goalkeeper in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2017 College Draft, albeit a round or two later than expected.

When the dust cleared at the draft, which lasted an excruciating four-plus hours, Sky Blue FC came away with solid players that will strengthen their foundation with at least three new potential starters.

While many experts were predicting the Sky Blue FC team to possibly take Stanford’s Jane Campbell in the first round, Sky Blue went with field players Kayla Mills and Miranda Freeman. When Campbell was chosen by Houston with the 15th pick, Sky Blue FC needed to change their plans.

Sky Blue took the next best goalkeeper on the board, however, picking Clemson University’s Kailen Sheridan with the 23rd overall (3rd pick of the third round).

Sheridan is a Canadian native and is on the national  team radar, getting her one cap in the 2016 Algarve Cup. She. was also an alternate on Canada’s Olympic Team in the Rio Games last summer.  At Clemson, she was a 3rd team All-American.

Sheridan has a solid reputation as a shot-stopper and is equally good with her feet. She is expected to challenge Caroline Casey, a second-year player from William and Mary, and Caroline Stanley. The two split the season in net for Sky Blue although Casey got more time near the end of the year when Stanley was injured.

With the 24th pick, Sky Blue FC stayed local and picked Rutgers University forward Madison Tiernan. Tiernan was a midfielder/forward who led Rutgers in scoring with 11 goals. The word on Tiernan is that she has the tools but needs to increase her speed of play to get meaningful minutes for Sky Blue.

Tiernan, from Voorhees, will be reunited with collegiate teammate Erica Skroski, who was a third-round draft pick last year. Skroski played all but six minutes for Sky Blue in her rookie season and is completing training camp with the United States U23 squad.

With the 30th pick and last third round pick, Sky Blue FC selected midfielder Catrina Atanda. She joins teammate Sheridan on Sky Blue FC and is the third Clemson player selected over the first three rounds. Atanda is a New Jersey native who plays in the center of the field and is known for keeping play simple, playing one or two touch soccer. She’s also a lefty.

With the 34th overall pick, Sky Blue FC ended their day by selection Boston College striker McKenzie Meehan. Meehan is in the
U23 pool and has a reputation of being a fortuitous player in front of the goal. She scored 58 goals for Boston College in her career, makign her the school’s all-time leading scorer.