Along with Sam Kerr, the blockbuster three-team trade brought the addition of Nikki Stanton to the Chicago Red Stars. A valuable midfield addition, Stanton came up through the rankings in her career and is ready to be with a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Championship contender.
Originally from Washington state, Stanton played collegiately for the University of Fairfield in Connecticut. She stuck around to join the Sky Blue FC Reserve team in 2014, eventually earning a full team spot the same year. Stanton appeared in four games for 78 minutes in her rookie campaign.
The following season, Stanton earned more experience with the professional team, starting three of eight games. During the 2015 offseason, she took her talents abroad and joined Sky Blue teammate Sam Kerr in Australia to play for Perth Glory in the W-League.
Stanton was an immediate impact for the Glory, playing every minute of the 11 matches she appeared in. She also played alongside Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
After her first stint in Australia, Stanton returned to New Jersey for her third season with Sky Blue FC in 2016. She found the field 12 times, starting four matches.
Entering her second year with Perth, another familiar Red Stars face of Alyssa Mautz joined her in the Glory midfield, along with DiBernardo. Perth Glory found a stride during the season and went on the longest unbeaten streak with six games.
Stanton appeared in 13 of the 14 games played, contributing to Perth’s second-place finish in the regular season and Grand Finale Runner-up.
Following such a successful time in Australia, Stanton earned the most minutes (1045) in her career with Sky Blue as she saw the field during 16 games, starting 13. With the help of Golden Boot winner Kerr, Sky Blue made a steady run for the NWSL Playoffs, but fell short and ended their regular season in sixth place with 33 points.
Currently, Stanton is competing with Perth in Australia, eyeing a spot for postseason play. Playing nearly every minute in the midfield, Stanton had to sit out for three weeks after breaking her arm in a collision during Round 2 against Brisbane Roar.
Despite the injury, Stanton has still managed 609 minutes in eight games, helping the Glory in sixth place, just three points behind the last spot for the Semifinals.
With the 2018 season nearing, Stanton will join fellow Sky Blue FC trade Sam Kerr with the Red Stars for the sixth NWSL season, opening up the weekend of March 24-25.