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Sky Blue FC adds Nikki Marshall, other updates

Sky Blue FC hopes a new training ground will help stabilize the franchise's off-field fortunes

Sky Blue FC announced on Thursday the signing of Nikki Marshall, who can play nearly anywhere on the field. Marshall last played for the Boston Breakers after being traded from magicJack mid-season.

Marshall played for Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra in 2010 with the Washington Freedom. Gabarra drafted Marshall with the No. 7-overall selection in the 2010 WPS Draft

“I am personally very gratified that Nikki Marshall has decided to sign with Sky Blue FC,” Gabarra said. “She is a player who we have been trying hard to get signed this offseason, and I look forward to working with her again to continue the development of her game. She has the ability to be a big contributor in WPS and possibly to the national team in the near future.”

The Marshall news comes one day after the announcement that Sky Blue FC has signed defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who also played under Gabarra with the Freedom in 2009 and 2010. Sky Blue FC also lost Heather O’Reilly to Boston, which the Breakers announced on Wednesday.

In Other News:

Recent Georgetown graduate Ingrid Wells, who recently spent time with in U.S. training camp, signed with Sweden’s Göteborg FC. The 22 year old midfielder was the target of several WPS teams in the upcoming WPS Draft.

Atlanta Beat head coach James Galanis is one of the coaches who was very interested in Wells. He also said that he has “an extreme interest” in UCLA forward Sydney Leroux and has also targeted Notre Dame forward Melissa Henderson and Stanford forward Lindsay Taylor. Atlanta owns the No. 1 and No. 3 picks in the Jan. 13 draft. WPS is yet to release the official draft order. That should come out in early January, when we’ll see how things shake out since magicJack is no longer part of the league.

Nothing official yet, but goalkeeper Val Henderson is in talks with the Beat. Henderson in Atlanta could be ideal for both parties. After three years of splitting time with Karina LeBlanc and Nicole Barnhart in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Henderson could finally be a full-time No. 1 goalkeeper in Atlanta. And that is exactly what Galanis is looking for.

Speaking of goalkeepers, Karen Bardsley is staying in Sweden.

WPS should start its 2012 season right around April, which is when the world will be treated to a high profile international tournament in Japan. The U.S. is slated to take on Japan on April 1 and Brazil on April 3.

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