One day after announcing that U.S. National Team defender Becky Sauerbrunn has joined its roster, Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) has confirmed the addition of defender/forward Nikki Marshall. The former first round selection of the Washington Freedom is the all-time leading goal scorer at the University of Colorado, where she registered a total of 42 tallies during her college career.
"I am personally very gratified that Nikki Marshall has decided to sign with Sky Blue FC," said head coach Jim Gabarra, who previously made the Colorado native the seventh overall pick in the 2010 WPS Draft. "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."
Marshall had the most decorated career in program history when she played for the University of Colorado, leaving the school as the owner of 17 school records. She burst onto the college scene in 2006, recording 17 goals and eventually being named the Soccer Buzz Freshman of the Year. The following season, she again led the Buffaloes by tallying nine scores, despite the fact that she was playing defender. She then moved back up top for her remaining two years at Colorado, registering eight more goals each season. Her standout college resume then made her a first round selection of the Washington Freedom, where she started all 24 matches of her rookie campaign at defender under Gabarra before the team was relocated to Florida as magicJack in 2011. After starting this past season with the Boca Raton club, she made 14 appearances with the Boston Breakers after it acquired her via a trade in June.
"Nikki brings a great deal of pace and athleticism to our back line," assistant coach Emma Hayes remarked. "She is an experienced WPS player, and we expect her to be pushing to get on the U.S. National Team this season with strong performances at Sky Blue FC. We are delighted to have her on board."
On the international landscape, Marshall has played for both the U-20 and U-23 sides of the U.S. National Team, capturing MVP honors in the final match of the 2008 U-20 FIFA World Cup that saw her team claim the Gold Medals.
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