|Full name||Sky Blue FC|
|Stadium|| Yurcak Field |
Piscataway, New Jersey
|Owner|| Phil and Tammy Murphy |
Steven H. Temares
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
Sky Blue FC is a professional soccer team based in Piscataway Township, New Jersey, which has participated in the National Women's Soccer League since 2013. From 2009 to 2011, the team played in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league owned by the teams, and under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federation. At the top of the United States league system, it represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The NWSL was established in 2012 as a successor to Women's Professional Soccer (2007–2012), which was itself the successor to Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2003). The league began play in 2013 with eight teams, four of which were former members of Women's Professional Soccer. With the addition of three expansion teams in Houston (2014), Orlando (2016), Salt Lake City (2018) and the loss of FC Kansas City and Boston Breakers, it now has nine teams throughout the United States.
Sky Blue FC is part of the larger Sky Blue Soccer organization, based in Somerset County, New Jersey, an integrated program that allows players to progress in soccer from a young age with an opportunity for long-term growth.
Somerset County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is considered North Jersey. As of the 2018 Census estimate, the county's population was 331,164, a 3.7% increase from the 2010 United States Census, making it the 13th most populous of the state's 21 counties. Somerset County is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. Its county seat is Somerville. The most populous place was Franklin Township, with 62,300 residents at the time of the 2010 Census, while Hillsborough Township, covered 55.00 square miles (142.4 km2), the largest total area of any municipality.
Sky Blue FC named Ian Sawyers as its first head coach and general manager on March 5, 2008. However, it was not until September 9, 2008 that the New York/New Jersey outfit was officially unveiled under the name Sky Blue FC. One week later, the US Women's National Team allocation took place with Heather O'Reilly, Natasha Kai, and Christie Pearce allocated to Sky Blue FC.
Ian Sawyers is an American soccer coach.
The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning four Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. It medaled in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF. The United States women's national soccer team recently just won the 2019 World Cup for the 4th time by defeating Netherlands 2-0.
Heather O'Reilly is an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for the North Carolina Courage. She played for the United States women's national soccer team (USWNT), with whom she won three Olympic gold medals and a FIFA Women's World Cup. She signed with the Arsenal Ladies Football Club on January 18, 2017. O'Reilly previously played for FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), Boston Breakers (NWSL), Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On September 24, the 2008 WPS International Draft was held. Sky Blue FC drafted Australian National Team forward Sarah Walsh in the first round, Brazilian National Team members Rosana and Ester in the second and third rounds respectively, finished with Canadian National Team midfielder Kelly Parker in the fourth round.In addition to these picks, Sky Blue FC also named Australian National Team midfielder Collette McCallum and England National Team defender Anita Asante as post-draft discovery players on September 26, 2008 and October 2, 2008 respectively, and were awarded their WPS playing rights.
The 2008 WPS International Draft took place on September 24, 2008. It was the first international draft held by Women's Professional Soccer to assign the WPS rights of international players to the American-based teams. For the 2009 season, teams will be able to sign 5 international players to their roster.
The Australian women's national soccer team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Matildas, having been known as the Female Socceroos before 1995. Under a naming rights deal with Scentre Group and its predecessor, Westfield Group, the team has been branded as Westfield Matildas since 2008.
Sarah Walsh is a retired Australian soccer player who most recently captained Western Sydney Wanderers FC in Australia's W-League. She is a former member of the Australia women's national soccer team.
To further assign player rights, on October 6 the 2008 WPS General Draft took place. Sky Blue FC drafted Cori Alexander, Keeley Dowling, Kacey White, and Jenny Hammond.Ian Sawyers closed out 2008 by choosing Kelly Lindsey to be his assistant coach on December 3.
The 2008 WPS General Draft took place on October 6, 2008. It was the first general draft held by Women's Professional Soccer to assign the WPS rights of international and domestic players to the American-based teams.
Corinne Renae Alexander is an American soccer goalkeeper and artistic photographer.
Keeley Kathleen Dowling is an American soccer defender, who is currently an assistant coach at the University of Texas at Austin.
The new year brought new players. On January 16, the 2009 WPS Draft was held. Sky Blue FC drafted Yael Averbuch, Meghan Schnur, Karen Bardsley, Christie Shaner, Julianne Sitch, Jen Buczkowski, Zhang Ouying, Mary Therese McDonnell, Mele French, and Fanta Cooper.
The 2009 WPS Draft took place on January 16, 2009. It was the first draft held by Women's Professional Soccer to assign the WPS rights of college players to the American-based teams, though other players not previously assigned could be drafted as well.
Yael Friedman Averbuch is an American soccer defender. She currently plays for the Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League and previously for the United States women's national soccer team.
Meghan Schnur is an American soccer midfielder currently playing for Sky Blue FC of Women's Professional Soccer and is a member of the United States U-23 women's national soccer team. Schnur is an alumnus of Butler Senior High School.
As of 2018, Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy was a majority shareholder of the team.
Sky Blue FC kicked off its inaugural season on April 5, 2009 dropping a 2–0 decision to Los Angeles Sol at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. It played its next game at the venue before moving permanently to Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University.
The team stuttered to one win and two draws in their first six games, scoring only 3 goals in the process, before head coach and general manager Ian Sawyers was suspended indefinitely by the team for disagreements on May 23, 2009. He was eventually relieved of his duties as head coach and general manager on May 28, 2009. In his absence, Kelly Lindsey stepped in as the interim and slowly started to turn around Sky Blue FC's on-field fortunes. She was eventually permanently installed as head coach on June 19, 2009 by then General Manager Gerry Marrone.
Lindsey's time at the helm was short-lived as she abruptly resigned from her position on July 30, 2009. She had won five games and drawn three others in her twelve total matches before Christie Pearce was named the second interim of the year and third head coach overall by Marrone. Her position also included playing on the field and was the first player/manager in WPS history. Rampone lead Sky Blue FC into 4th position and secured the final playoff spot for the 2009 playoffs. Sky Blue FC upended both Washington Freedom and Saint Louis Athletica to make the championship game against Los Angeles Sol. A 16th minute Heather O'Reilly strike earned Sky Blue FC the championship on August 22, 2009, beating the Sol on their own home field of The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
With two additional teams, Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence, joining the league for 2010, Sky Blue FC were destined to lose players from their championship-winning side. On September 15, the 2009 WPS Expansion Draft was held with Jen Buczkowski moving to Philadelphia and Noelle Keselica headed to Atlanta.
Sky Blue FC announced on September 29, 2009 that former Finnish National Team player Pauliina Miettinen would be head coach of the team for the 2010 season after completing her coaching duties with PK-35 Vantaa.
Sky Blue FC started its title defense on April 11, 2010 when it hosted the Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field. The team wasted little time in gaining its first goal on the young season, with forward Tasha Kai scoring on a fourth-minute strike to lead her team to an eventual 1–0 victory. Sky Blue FC found itself having some trouble tallying goals as the season progressed and held a 5–6–3 record when head coach Pauliina Miettinen was relieved of her duties. Immediately replacing her was assistant coach Rick Stainton, who led the team to a 2–4–4 record the rest of the way. After settling for three draws to conclude its sophomore campaign, Sky Blue FC finished the year in fifth place in the regular season standings and just missed the postseason.
The 2011 season marked the first at the helm by decorated women's soccer coach Jim Gabarra, who had spent the past decade with the Washington Freedom. Prior to the start of the regular season, Sky Blue FC headed to Turkey for the preseason, playing to the finals of the Alanya International Women's Tournament of Champions, where it fell to team partner LdB FC Malmö, 1–0. Also participating in the tournament were Russian side FK Energiya and Danish club Fortuna Hjørring (who Sky Blue FC defeated in a penalty shootout in the semifinals).
Sky Blue FC kicked off the WPS regular season on April 10, 2011 at Yurcak Field, playing the Philadelphia Independence to a 2–2 draw. The team then hit the road for three games, suffering three consecutive defeats, before returning home for a pair of wins. After two more draws and another victory, Sky Blue FC found itself amid the longest unbeaten streak in franchise history (five matches). The team kicked off that streak on May 21, 2011 with a 3–0 win over the Atlanta Beat, its largest margin of victory ever.
The club went 1–2 in its next three games before entering the final four matches of the regular season. After suffering defeats in each of those games, Sky Blue FC came up just short of the playoffs after finishing even with the Boston Breakers for the final postseason spot (Boston took the season tiebreaker).
After the WPS announced the suspension of the 2012 season, Sky Blue FC announced a partnership with the New Jersey Wildcats of the W-League, which included sharing coaching staff. [ citation needed ]
In November 2012, it was announced that Sky Blue FC would be one of eight teams in a new women's professional soccer league sponsored by the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation.The league, known as the National Women's Soccer League, began play in spring 2013.
Sky Blue FC opened its 2016 season at Seattle Reign in thrilling fashion on Sunday, April 17, 2016, winning 2–1 and handing two-time defending NWSL Shield winner its first-ever home loss at Memorial Stadium. The Reign were unbeaten at Memorial Stadium over the previous two seasonsSky Blue FC started six (6) players who had never logged a single NWSL minute before that night. By the end of the season they had racked up with 26 points in 7th place. Playing 20 games this season they ended up with 7 wins 8 losses 5 and ties. They scored 24 goals and had 30 against them. Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodríguez was named 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year.
In 2017, Sky Blue had its most successful season since 2014. They finished in sixth place, but were in playoff contention until mid September.Head coach Christy Holly unexpectedly stepped down as coach on August 16. This was followed by veteran defender Christie Pearce announcing she would miss the remainder of the season due to injury on August 18.
On August 19, 2017 Sky Blue overcame a 3–0 deficit, to defeat the Seattle Reign 5–4. In that game Sam Kerr became the first player in NWSL history to score 4 goals in one game.Kerr enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, she broke the single season goal scoring record by scoring 17 goals and won the golden boot. Kerr was also awarded the 2017 NWSL MVP award.
Denise Reddy was appointed as the new head coach on November 15, 2017.Sky Blue began the off-season by trading several of their key players. They dealt Taylor Lytle and USWNT defender Kelley O'Hara to the Utah Royals on December 29, 2017. Then at the 2018 NWSL College Draft they traded Nikki Stanton and 2017 NWSL MVP Sam Kerr to the Chicago Red Stars. Sky Blue received forward Katie Johnson and defender Rebekah Stott from the Seattle Reign in exchange for the rights to forward Caitlin Foord. They also added two-time FIFA Player of the year Carli Lloyd in the trade for Sam Kerr.
The results of the field were not good for Sky Blue as they finished in last place with a record of 1–17–6. They broke the NWSL record for the longest winless streak (23 games) as they didn't earn a victory until the final game of the season.Their season was plagued with reports of poor off-field conditions, such a inadequate training facilities as well as housing, travel, and transportation issues.
The 2018 season did include promising rookie seasons from Imani Dorsey and Savannah McCaskill. Dorsey scored 4 goals in 13 games and McCaskill had 3 goals and 3 assists.Both players were voted as finalists for the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the year. Dorsey won the award, becoming the second Sky Blue player to win the award after Raquel Rodríguez won it in 2016.
|Year||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||Avg. Attendance|
|2010||WPS||5th Place||Did not qualify||3,320|
|2011||WPS||5th Place||Did not qualify||2,033|
|2014||NWSL||6th Place||Did not qualify||1,640|
|2015||NWSL||8th Place||Did not qualify||2,189|
|2016||NWSL||7th Place||Did not qualify||2,162|
|2017||NWSL||6th Place||Did not qualify||2,613|
|2018||NWSL||9th Place||Did not qualify||2,532|
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of July 18, 2019.
|High performance coach|
|Strength and conditioning coach|
Cloud 9 is the official supporters group of Sky Blue FC.They stand in Section 9 of Yurcak Field for home games, and travel to road games, singing songs and chants throughout the game.
As of April 2017, Sky Blue FC games are streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers.For the 2017 season, the team will be featured in the nationally televised Lifetime NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts on May 13, May 20, July 1, and August 12, 2017.
Previous seasons' matches were streamed live on YouTube, available around the world. The announcers were Corey Cohen on play-by-play and Dan Lauletta on color commentary with Evan Davis hosting the halftime show and NJ Discover handling production.
Information correct as of May 12. Only competitive matches (regular season and playoffs) are counted. Wins, losses, and draws are results at the final whistle; the results of penalty shootouts are not counted.
|Ian Sawyers||March 5, 2008 – May 23, 2009||6||1||2||3||3||5||16.67|
|Kelly Lindsey||May 23, 2009 – July 29, 2009||12||5||3||4||13||12||41.67|
|Christie Pearce||July 30, 2009 – September 29, 2009||5||4||0||1||6||4||80.00||WPS Champions|
|Pauliina Miettinen||September 29, 2009 – July 19, 2010||14||5||3||6||12||16||35.71|
|Rick Stainton||July 19, 2010 – October 7, 2010||10||2||4||4||8||15||20.00|
|Jim Gabarra||October 7, 2010 – October 14, 2015||94||29||29||26||68||87||30.85|
|Christy Holly||January 13, 2016 – August 16, 2017||38||14||7||17||53||67||36.84|
|Denise Reddy||November 15, 2017 – June 28, 2019||33||1||8||24||27||66||3.03|
Women's Professional Soccer
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Kendall Lorraine Fletcher is an American soccer defender who currently plays for Canberra United. She previously played for the Los Angeles Sol, St. Louis Athletica, and Sky Blue FC in the WPS. She has played for Vittsjo in the Swedish top-division Damallsvenskan as well as Melbourne Victory and Canberra United of the Australian W-League. She played for the United States women's national soccer team in 2009.
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Jillian Ann Loyden is an American retired soccer goalkeeper who most recently played for Sky Blue FC in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States women's soccer team. She previously played for the Saint Louis Athletica, Chicago Red Stars, and MagicJack in the WPS. She became an assistant coach for Sky Blue FC in 2016.
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