CHICAGO Red Stars striker Jen Hoy knows she is in the hot seat at the Newcastle Jets this W-League season in her first stint abroad.
The Jets finished sixth last season, just three points outside the finals, but with the worst attack in the nine-team competition of just nine goals scored.
Hoy was unveiled on Friday as a Jets signing and is one of four US imports Newcastle are believed to have secured for the 2016-17 season, which starts away on November 6 against premiers Melbourne City.
However, the 25-year-old is expected to be the only notable addition to their attack, which will be without fringe Matildas striker Tara Andrews. Hoy, though, was welcoming the challenge from coach Craig Deans.
“I know Craig talks about how they need more goals and that’s what my primary focus is going to be to help the team,” Hoy said.
As for the added pressure to score, she said: “It’s the responsibility that every forward wants.”
The Princeton University graduate scored 36 Ivy League goals in 69 games before joining the Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013. She has scored 13 in 64 matches for Chicago, compiling a highlights package that impressed Deans.
The 2015-16 W-League coach of the year was excited about securing Hoy, who brings a new dynamic to his attack after Andrew’s decision to take a break.
“Tara could play as a striker, winger or midfielder,” Deans said. “Jen brings a different style. She is more direct and a bit more powerful. She’s a bit more of a threat with pace.
“Tara is technically very good, and Jen is as well, but her pace is a big asset for her. If you look at her highlights package, you can see she scores goals with her left foot, right foot, with headers, and she’s good. I think she could play as a winger, too.”
Hoy said injury and health issues ruined hopes of playing overseas the previous two years but she was “ready to go” after a foot problem sidelined her for month towards the end of the last NWSL season. She spoke to several W-League coaches, including now Jets A-League coach Mark Jones when he was at Adelaide, about this season before deciding on Newcastle.
The Jets are expected to bring back their 2015-16 player of the year, Megan Oyster, as well as recruit her Washington teammate Kelsey Wys in goals. Their other US import is expected to be a Chicago defender.
Hoy said she got a good feeling about the type of person and coach Deans was from their talks.
“He’s willing to do extra work with me off the field, which is really important,” she said.
“The team, too, it just seems like it would be a good fit for my style of play and what they need and what I can bring.”