Sky Blue Signs USWNT Veteran Keeper Loyden

Photo: Robyn McNeil
Photo: Robyn McNeil
Photo: Robyn McNeil

A former goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Team has been signed by Sky Blue FC.

Jill Loyden, who has spent this season as an assistant coach for the National Women’s Soccer League side, will serve as a goalkeeper replacement after Caroline Stanley suffered a left shoulder sprain against Portland Thorns FC. Prior to her injury, Stanley registered three clean sheets and 24 saves over nine matches.

“We are delighted to have Jill back involved with the first team,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We are very fortunate to be able to bring on a player of her experience and caliber. She is very familiar with what we have been doing here all season long, and she has a great connection with the players.”

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Loyden last played for Sky Blue FC in 2014, making 17 starts while recording 69 saves and four clean sheets. Joining her on the game day roster will be Caroline Casey, who has made 10 saves in three appearances this season.  

“Obviously, this was not part of the original plan, but the team needs an extra goalkeeper at this time,” said Loyden. “I am happy to help in any capacity or role where I may be needed until we can get Caroline Stanley back and healthy again.”

A native of Vineland, N.J., Loyden’s time with Sky Blue FC dates back to the origins of the franchise, when she was a goalkeeper for Jersey Sky Blue of the USL W-League. Collegiately, she was a three-time Big East Goalkeeper of the Year at Villanova University before being drafted by Saint Louis Athletica in the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) College Draft.

The following season, she was signed by the Chicago Red Stars as their starting goalkeeper, compiling a 1.17 GAA (Goals Against Average) before bettering that number with a 1.13 GAA the next year for magicJack SC.

In international play, Loyden worked her way onto the U.S. Women’s National Team scene in 2010, earning her first cap on October 1st of that year when she backstopped her team to a 2-1 victory over China. The following year, she earned a spot on the USWNT roster for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and she served as an alternate in London for the Gold Medal winning USWNT side at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Loyden joined Sky Blue FC in 2012 as part of the U.S. WNT allocation and spent two more years with the New Jersey club. Over that pair of seasons, she registered a cumulative 8-7-6 record over 21 starts with five shutouts and 115 saves.