Sky Blue FC cannot seem to shake 2018 reports about the NWSL club's poor working conditions and the housing situation for players.
As it seeks to rebuilt after 2018 season in which it won
one game -- its last game of the season -- it needed to use Thursday's College Draft to fill out its roster. It had two picks in the first round and four of the first 11 selections, but there were
questions raised about whether players would move to New Jersey to play for the club, which dates back to the old WPS in 2009. NWSL in
2019 Salary Cap:
$421,500 2019 Minimum salary:
$16,538 2019 Maximum salary:
Sky Blue president and general manager
admitted there were "challenges" about getting UCLA's Hailie Mace
, the No. 2 pick, to sign, and No. 6 selection Julia Ashley
-- who hails from Verona, New Jersey --
admitted she was exploring options in Europe. Still, Novo expressed confidence that they would join Sky Blue FC.
He acknowledged that the bad press contributed to making the 2018 season
“very challenging." Improvements were in the works, but he wasn't ready to reveal them.
“We’ve been working towards that," he said. "I promise you guys that within the
next 30 days or so we’re going to make some of those announcements of improvements that we’ve made. To training, to housing, to some of the things that people felt were shortfalls in the
past for us.”
Each NWSL club has a cap on housing and transportation subsidies it can offer. NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy
said that the Permitted Team Assistance Cap
would double in 2019, and Novo said the increase would help the club get more players into better housing arrangements.
“We’re in New Jersey," he said. "It’s very
expensive. When the cap was what it was in the past, at a lower level, there were only so many players we could put [in housing]. That number has increased a lot, so we’re going to increase our
housing a lot.”