With the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup set to begin July 27th, the competition is starting to take shape. The league announced preliminary seeding in a draw streamed live on CBS Sports HQ. Sky Blue FC received the 6th slot. Their first match will be Tuesday, June 30 vs OL Reign. Reign midfielder Allie Long talked about her excitement for the matchup with CBS. “In this league, anything can happen.”
Carli Lloyd Sits Out
Sky Blue announced yesterday that club veteran and women’s national team stalwart Carli Lloyd will not join the team in Utah. Citing a minor knee injury, Lloyd expressed her regret at not being able to join in on the return to soccer. The New Jersey native re-joined SBFC in 2018 following a loan to Manchester City Women’s Team. This will be the first NWSL season without Lloyd taking the field.
Sabrina Flores Returns
Livingston, NJ native Sabrina Flores has signed a two-year contract with the club. The former Notre Dame defender and midfielder brings vast tactical experience to the club. A National Team Replacement player, Flores saw time in four matches for SBFC during the 2019 season. She activated a one-time switch to the Mexican national team in 2018 to join her twin sister Monica. “I’m beyond grateful to be representing this club and my home state of New Jersey again,” Flores said in a press release.
Chantelle Swaby Signs On
The club has also announced a short-term deal with 2020 Draft pick Chantelle Swaby. The defender featured in all three group stage games at the 2019 Women’s World Cup for the Jamaican National Team. “We are thrilled to sign Chantelle for the upcoming NWSL Challenge Cup,” said Head Coach Freya Coombe. “After being drafted in January, she has been competing every day at practice, demonstrating her ability to play at the professional level.”
The Orlando Pride announced late Monday that they will not participate in the Challenge Cup. Six players and four staffers have tested positive for coronavirus. The outbreak is being traced to an Orlando-area nightclub. Florida is experiencing rising numbers of Covid-19 cases. It is not clear at this time how the schedule is going to be changed. Major League Soccer teams are heading to Orlando for the MLS is Back tournament in early July.