Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) held its dispersal draft last week for player rights previously held by the Los Angeles Sol, and 2009 WPS Champion Sky Blue FC added three-time NCAA College Cup champion Nikki Washington and former Washington State standout Kiersten Dallstream with its two selections. The draft was held after an announcement that Sol operations were being discontinued by WPS.
“We have current strength on our roster, and I think this offers us future strength as well,” Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen said of the new additions. “Nikki Washington has the potential to be one of the top players in the league, and Kiersten Dallstream has a lot of international experience with her having played in the U-20 World Championships. With these two, I can see that our training will be even more competitive, and I like that.”
Washington is a versatile player who brings a championship resume to the defending WPS title-holders. The Mesquite, Texas, native won three NCAA National Championships while playing at the University of North Carolina, and she played a pivotal role in bringing the USL W-League Championship to the Pali Blues Soccer Club in 2009. She also supplied the U-20 U.S. National Team with a pair of assists during its Gold Medal run in the 2008 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile.
“I’m so pumped. I think 50% of the team is Tar Heels!” Washington joked. “I’m going where I obviously know a lot of people, and I’m really excited to join the defending champions.”
Washington made an immediate impression when she arrived on campus at Chapel Hill, tallying 15 points on three goals and nine assists during her freshman season in 2006. She was a finalist for the Soccer Buzz National Freshman of the Year, while also being named to the All-ACC Second Team and the All-ACC Freshman Team. Additionally, she was selected to the Soccer America Freshman All-America Second Team and the Top Drawer Soccer Rookie Second Team. She and the Tar Heels were also national champions in 2006 after knocking off Notre Dame in the championship game, 20in After registering 21 points on seven goals and seven assists during her sophomore year, Washington was named to the Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region Second Team and received ACC Tournament MVP honors after notching a score in each game of the conference tournament. During her junior year in 2008, she recorded 19 points on five knocks and three assists, receiving a nod to the Soccer Buzz All-America Third Team after helping UNC to a second national title in three years. Her senior campaign this past fall was unfortunately cut short due to an ACL injury.
“We went into this draft with three players on our list,” Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone commented. “We got two of the three, including the number five overall in last month’s college draft, and I am extremely excited. It gives us exactly the depth that we were hoping to achieve.”
Dallstream attended Washington State University and is a native of Fountain Hills, Arizona. She led the Cougars in scoring this past season with 13 goals and 33 points, and she currently ranks third all-time at WSU in both goals (30) and points (76). Dallstream also showed her versatility by playing defender at the 2008 FIFA U-20 World Cup, winning a Gold Medal with teammate Nikki Washington.
Dallstream immediately inserted herself into the lineup when she arrived on campus at Washington State, starting in 18 matches during her freshman season. She then registered seven goals and three assists during her sophomore year, and the playmaking striker was selected to the Soccer Buzz All-West Region Team and All-Pac 10 First Team as a result. She picked up her junior campaign right where she left off in 2007, winning NSCAA/adidas All-Region and All-Pac 10 Second Team accolades after tallying four goals and five assists. This past fall, Dallstream recorded a team-leading 13 goals and 33 points, and she was also called up for the first time to the U-23 U.S. National Team Training Camp.
Sky Blue FC, who will open its WPS title defense on April 11th against the Chicago Red Stars, chose to pass on its third round selection in the dispersal draft today after the selection of Washington and Dallstream.