Harrison, N.J. — Sky Blue FC rookie forward Savannah McCaskill is making the most of the the first few months of 2018 — preparing for her first NWSL season and earning her first senior appearances with the U.S. women’s national team.
After playing 45 minutes vs. France on Sunday in the USWNT’s 1-1 draw with France at Red Bull Arena, McCaskill has three caps. She could earn her fourth on Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida, when the U.S. faces England for the SheBelieves Cup title.
The 21-year-old’s first caps have all been against the top teams in Europe: Denmark (runners-up at the Euro 2017 tournament), Germany (No. 2 in the world, reigning Olympic gold medalists) and France (No. 6 in the world).
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s definitely been challenging, but it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a great experience for me, getting my first cap against Denmark. And then … this tournament is the best teams in the world, and just being able to get that experience under my belt has been a huge, huge privilege,” McCaskill told reporters after Sunday’s draw with France.
All before her first professional game on March 31 when Sky Blue FC visits the North Carolina Courage.
McCaskill was drafted on January 18 by the Boston Breakers, but couldn’t attend the draft in person because she had been called into camp with the U.S. women’s national team. Three days later, she made her first appearance for the senior team, coming on as a sub in a 5-1 win vs. Denmark.
McCaskill was selected by the Breakers with the second overall pick and then selected with the second pick in the dispersal draft by Sky Blue FC after the Breakers ceased operations.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) January 22, 2018
McCaskill mostly played forward in college for the University of South Carolina and is also listed on Sky Blue FC’s roster as a forward. But her minutes for the U.S. women’s national team have come in the midfield.
“I’ve seen Savannah play in the 9 and also in the 10 underneath. Obviously for her college team she played high and was alone most of the time. What I like about Sav is I like her feet. I like her willingness to run at teams,” Ellis said on Sunday. “She can come off the line. She can make runs in behind.”
McCaskill says she’s happy with the midfield role for the USWNT.
“I love being able to be on the ball, being able to create, being able to play both ends of the ball really,” she said. “Being involved in pretty much every part of the game is really fun.”
She’s also not afraid to take on a tough challenge, as evidenced by a story she recently told to NWSL Media:
On Sunday vs. France, McCaskill entered at the start of the second half and played the rest of the match, her longest appearance in a U.S. jersey so far. She had a few dangerous opportunities and also took all the corner kicks.
“I wanted to give Savanah some time today and see how she did against this team,” Ellis said after the game. “At this point it’s seeing Savannah in this environment, with her decision making, with her competitiveness, she’s a truly competitive kid. And giving her chances to see how she does in games like this.”
— Sky Blue FC (@SkyBlueFC) March 5, 2018
“It was awesome to be able to go in and try to make a difference, especially going into the second half tied 1-1. Just being able to come in and try to lift the team and do whatever I could to help us get a win. It was a lot of fun,” McCaskill said.