Theresa Diederich – MF – Alabama – Attacking central midfielder leaves Alabama after four years starting for the Crimson Tide and twenty-three goals, though a quarter of those were from the penalty spot. Looked like becoming one of the program’s all-time greats after seven goals as a rookie but then proceeded to a somewhat nondescript career for a mediocre Bama program. Kept scoring as an upperclassman, but her efficiency numbers took a big hit as a senior, including putting just 38% of her shots on goal. Not a big playmaker, and SBFC are already loaded at central midfield.
Maryam Huseini – F/MF – La Salle – Norwegian youth international proved a great hit for the A10 powerhouse explorers over the past four seasons. Huseini has been a playmaker extraordinaire the past two seasons, combining for twenty-five assists, giving her thirty-eight all-time for her collegiate career. Could thrive in that playmaking role, though the Norwegian has also been very inefficient when trying to put the ball in the back of the net with woeful SOG % and shots per goal numbers. Not sure she’ll stick with a club’s international spot but should find a home somewhere in Europe if she doesn’t.
Stef Scholz – F – Rutgers – Local looked like a potential draftee after a strong junior season that saw her upstage Jonelle Filigno en route to ten goals to lead the Scarlet Knights. Scholz didn’t quite crash and burn as a senior, but she did return squarely back to earth, scoring just seven goals for the club. Efficiency numbers as a senior were hardly much to shout about, needing more than seven shots to score while only putting 49% of her shots on frame. But the local status helps, and there’s room for forwards through the WWC, when much of the club’s attack will be in Canada, so she might stick.
Gibby Wagner – F – Boston College – Perhaps the annual reclamation project that pops up in preseason camps. Wagner was a tremendously touted prospect coming into college but never developed into much more than an above average ACC player for the Eagles, being overshadowed by brighter lights in the BC attack. Wagner finished her senior season with three goals and three assists from a central midfield position. That was in 2013, and the rust needing to be shaken off is another obstacle towards making this roster, though the club will need some offensive numbers with the likes of Kerr, O’Hara, and Ocampo away early in the season.
Maruschka Waldus – MF – Alabama – Dutch midfielder probably had one of the stranger paths to the pros in a while, having played for a while in the BeNe league in Holland before going to Alabama for her master’s degree with just one season of NCAA eligibility in tow. Waldus ended up being a mainstay though, starting all twenty matches for the club, mostly as an uncompromising defensive midfielder. Size allows her to play center-back as well, and the Dutch player is a strong presence aerially. SBFC still has room for another international, and her versatility might off her a way onto the main roster.
Added After Initial Preseason Roster Release
Jen Grubb – D – Washington Freedom (Notre Dame) – Speaking of unlikely, that’s exactly what Jen Grubb’s addition to the SBFC preseason roster is, some five years after her last stint with the club as a late season WPS signing. The former center-back star for the Washington Freedom of WUSA is a spry thirty-six and is trying to add her name to the short list of players who’ve played in all three leagues of pro WoSo in the U.S. With numbers tight early in the season, Grubb making an appearance or two in defense, even as an amateur call-up, may not be as outlandish as you might believe.
Released After First Roster Cuts
Sheree Dillard – MF – Penn State – You may know her better as Sheree Gray. Dillard starred with Penn State in the Ali Krieger years but has struggled to make much of an impression at professional level, only appearing in a handful of matches with Saint Louis in WPS before an unremarkable stint with SBFC at the end of WPS. Hasn’t really featured since, so while it’d be a great story if she made it, Dillard remains a pretty big longshot.
Kim Elmore – D – Belmont – Another surprising invitee, given a collegiate career that was relative unremarkable. Grew into a starting role with the Bruins after transferring from East Tennessee State after her freshman season. Still didn’t particularly shine in a middling league for a middling club. SBFC’s short on full-back depth though, so if Elmore can play out wide, she may have a chance at sticking as a reserve.
Shannon O’Brien – GK – Arizona – Speaking of longshots, if O’Brien were to suit up in NWSL, it would probably be the most unlikely story in the short history of the league. Monti was a starting keeper at Arizona…from 1998-2001. The thirty-five year old O’Brien has since gotten married and racked up coaching experience at club and college level. While it’s heartening to see someone chase their dream, the odds of an actual roster spot are slim, as both of SBFC’s keepers are expected to be with the team all season.
Genevieve Richard – GK – Wisconsin – Canadian youth international looked like a bust until later in her career, showing her true ability in her final two seasons of college action, along with some strong W-League performances. Is a great 1v1 shot stopper with soft hands and an innate ability to make phenomenal saves low. Does not possess elite athleticism for the position at this level, being a little bit sluggish off her line and not having a great vertical leap to deal with high crosses in traffic. Could probably find a home overseas ala other strong Canadian keepers.
Shelbee Stilwell – F – Oklahoma State – I’ve got no clue. I’m completely stumped, which might be a first on these invitee profiles. Stilwell was once on Oklahoma State’s roster but isn’t in the master NCAA database and doesn’t appear to have played a single minute of college ball. She declared for the 2014 NWSL Draft but wasn’t taken. I suppose the fact that she was invited into a preseason camp despite the above is pretty astonishing.
Amber Stobbs – F – Hofstra – The odd duck that may be a better player as a pro than she was in college. Stobbs was a normal starter for the Pride but endured a relatively nondescript career for the CAA power, finishing with three goals and five assists this season, though her efficiency numbers weren’t that promising. Stobbs, however, has impressed for the Washington Spirit reserves in W-League play, with those showings likely getting her this chance. A spritely 5’3″, Stobbs isn’t particularly quick, but she is a powerful runner who doesn’t go down easily as she drives to the endline. Likely a winger at the next level, Stobbs, a Brit, may need to go back overseas to establish herself as a pro.
Tseng Shu-O – F – SV Neulengbach (AUT) – Nomadic Taiwanese winger has played in Australia, France, the U.S., and Austria among other destinations. Though she’s undersized, Tseng has often made lesser defenders look silly with mazy runs and Hollywood balls through opposing backlines. But the Taiwanese attacker is also thirty years old and didn’t set the world on fire in a couple of W-League stints, meaning a club spending an international pick on her at this stage of her career doesn’t seem likely.
Signed With Amazon Grimstad (NOR)
Rachel Breton – MF/D – Rutgers – More proof that college form isn’t necessarily everything. Breton wasn’t much more than an average player with the Scarlet Knights but has persevered as a dependable amateur call-up past few years. Given increase in talent here, much more in 2015 isn’t likely. Breton’s signing with Norweigan side Amazon Grimstad is reported to be short-term, and given the club’s numbers issue at full-back, Breton could be back in the equation once she returns from Europe.