Jan. 24, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M soccer goalkeeping standout Kristin Arnold signed with Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), the organization announced Monday.

The Centennial, Colo., native was picked up as a free agent just over a week after the WPS draft. She joins Aggie teammate Alyssa Mautz, the 16th overall 2011 WPS Draft pick, on the New Jersey team.

"The way the WPS draft was formatted this year made it tough on goalkeepers," Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. "Since there were only four rounds and 24 total picks, it's not surprising that the clubs would concentrate on field players. But, in the end, not being drafted and being able to sign a contract with a guaranteed roster spot is a much better situation. The fact that Kristin and Alyssa Mautz have been picked up by the same club makes me feel good about their initial experiences in New Jersey."

Arnold is the third A&M goalkeeper and the 10th Aggie to be selected by a women's professional team.

"It's great to see another Aggie soccer player earning the chance to play beyond her college career," Guerrieri said. "I'm so proud of Kristin and the way she developed in our program at Texas A&M. She's going to be a very good professional."

As a freshman at A&M in 2006, Arnold started in 23 of the Aggies' 24 matches in goal, earning a conference-best eight shutouts. That season she was a three-time Team of the Week selection and was twice named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week before receiving Soccer Buzz Freshmen All-America first team honors. In 2007 she was selected to the All-Big 12 first team with a conference-best seven shutouts. Arnold redshirted in 2008 after sustaining a knee injury early in the season. As a junior she was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team and was selected to MAC's Hermann Trophy Watch List. In 2010 the senior team captain posted three shutouts and was placed on the Academic All-Big 12 first team.

"With only two picks in the WPS Draft, we were unable to use one of those selections on a goalkeeper," Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra said. "Luckily, we managed to get through the draft with [Arnold] still available. As soon as the draft ended I spoke to Rick [Stainton, assistant coach] and said, `let's get her on the phone and offer her a contract.' She was very grateful for the opportunity and will be a very good fit to fill out our goalkeeping corps."

Arnold reported to the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., earlier this month for a U.S. U-23 Women's National Team (WNT) training camp. She has attended several WNT training camps during her college career, and played for the U.S. U-23 WNT in Northern Ireland in 2008.

"In this sport, we always talk about the four pillars of soccer, and Kristin fits the bill in each of them," Stainton said. "Technically, she is very sound. Tactically, she is very aware. Psychologically, she is very focused. Physically, she may be listed at six-foot, but she plays like she is 6-5 or 6-6. She already has all the tools, and now we just have to implement her into our style and existing corps. Without question, Kristin will certainly be an asset for us."