Author Topic: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue  (Read 15970 times)

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« on: December 28, 2007, 09:17:58 PM »
Ex Malmo star is new head coach in New Jersey

Reddy Named Sky Blue W-League Head Coach
18/12/2007

BEDMINSTER, NJ (December 18, 2007) - Sky Blue Soccer announced today that Denise Reddy has been named head coach of Jersey Sky Blue - the organization's W-League franchise. One of the finest women's soccer products ever to come out of New Jersey, Reddy served as an assistant coach with Jersey Sky Blue last year and will guide the team into its second season in the W-League.

A Hazlet, NJ native, Reddy starred on the collegiate level at Rutgers University before spending 11 years playing professionally in Sweden's Damallsvenskan - that country's top women's soccer league. She returned to the United States in 2006 to work as a player/assistant coach with the New Jersey Wildcats before moving to Sky Blue for the 2007 season.

"I am happy that Denise will be taking a lead role within Sky Blue Soccer," said Thomas Hofstetter, President and CEO of Sky Blue Soccer. "Her international experience in world class soccer and her experience her in the United States make her perfectly qualified for the position as the head coach for our W-League Team."

Reddy, who will also serve as the director of the Sky Blue Soccer school, has already started the player recruitment process and is looking forward to her first season as a head coach in the W-League.
"I am honored to have been chosen to coach Jersey Sky Blue this upcoming season," Reddy said. "I look forward to the challenge of putting together a highly competitive team. I'm anxious to get the season underway and can't wait for our first training session."

In her two seasons as an assistant coach in the W-League, Reddy helped her teams to a 26-2 record and postseason appearances in both seasons. In 2006, the New Jersey Wildcats posted a 14-0 mark before falling to the Ottawa Fury in the Eastern Conference final. This past summer, Jersey Sky Blue recorded a 12-2 mark in its debut season in the W-League before losing to Ottawa in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Prior to returning to the United States in 2006, Reddy played for 11 years in Sweden's Damallsvenskan with the final 10 years spent with Malmö DFF. During her stay in Sweden, Reddy starred for Malmö FF for 10 years in 336 games after playing one season for Umeå IK in 1995. She served as the Malmö team captain from 1999 to 2005 and also worked in the front office with both the Malmö men's and women's teams.

A former Rutgers University All-American out of Raritan High School, Reddy was a star defender for the Lady Knights from 1988 to 1991. She started all four seasons at Rutgers appearing in 81 games and served as the team captain in 1990 and 1991. She also played for the Rutgers women's basketball team from 1990-1993 helping the Lady Knights to the 1993 Atlantic 10 Championship.

"Denise is a great choice to lead Jersey Sky Blue in 2008 - a home-grown talent with extensive international professional experience," said Patric Santo Pietro, General Manager for Jersey Sky Blue. "She acquired a strong grasp of what it takes to succeed in the W-League over the past two years and I look forward to her assembling a championship contender."

Jersey Sky Blue will kick off its second season in the W-League in May 2008. Sky Blue will announce the team's schedule and home venue in the near future.

http://www.skybluesoccer.com/index.php/eng/sbs_news/20071218_reddy
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 12:31:26 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 01:30:24 PM »
The Sky Blues have made a string of announcements concerning their squad for 2008 in recent weeks.

Among their returning players from last year's squad are Domenique Esposito and Bonnie Young, both former players for the New Jersey Wildcats. Also returning are Gina DeMaio and Lauren Ebert.

Jillian Loyden, their goalie, also returns after her successful 2007 debut season together with Fanta Cooper, their central defender, who played for two years with Balinge in the Swedish Damallsvenskan during their 2005 promotion season and the following 2006 campaign. Fanta also spent several seasons with the former Chicago Cobras W-League side.

There are a range of new signings too, notably Leah Robinson (Canada) and Stacey Socco (Australia) who have both joined the Sky Blues from the successful Ottawa Fury team. Both also played for Jitex BK in Sweden in summer 2006.

Another Swedish connection is the signing of Yolande Edenyo, experienced Swedish youth international, who formerly played for Balinge from 2000 to 2004 and played for FC Indiana in their 2006 WPSL campaign.

Stephanie Peel also joins from the WPSL after playing for New York Athletic. She has also several seasons of experience in the W-League for various expired franchises (Genesis and Geoff please note!!!) Her last W-League season was with the New York Magic in 2006.  Marisa Brown, a member of the USA Under-21 squad, also joins, having played for 1st division Swedish side Danmarks IF last summer after previous W-League/WPSL experience with Boston Renegades and FC Indiana.

Along with a number of college signings, it should be interesting to see how Jersey Sky Blue do in their second W-League season. Last year they went out to Ottawa in the Easterm Conference semi final play-offs.

 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:33:38 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 02:28:59 PM »
Brazil Legend Sissi to Join Sky Blue Scouting Effort

SOMERSET, NJ (June 6, 2008)
 
As Sky Blue Soccer prepares for the kickoff of the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer season in 2009, the New Jersey-based organization will have a women’s soccer legend scouring the Western hemisphere for talent. Former Brazil great Sissi will be working with Sky Blue as a scout for talent in the Americas.

A star on the international level as well as in the former WUSA professional league, Sissi is quite familiar with Ian Sawyers – the General Manager and Head Coach for Sky Blue Soccer’s professional team. Sissi played for Sawyers from 2001-2003 when he was the Head Coach of the San Jose CyberRays in the WUSA.

Currently working as a FIFA Ambassador, Sissi will be a delegate for the first-ever FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Chile to be held this coming October and November. Sissi will oversee day-to-day operations for the matches and while spreading the good will of FIFA. She also currently coaches with Las Positas College and Diablo Futbol Club in California.

“Sissi has made a huge impact on Women's soccer all around the world – she has been a phenomenal player and ambassador for the game,” Sawyers said. “More importantly she is a very special person, a humanitarian and a very close friend. Her role as a FIFA ambassador is well deserved and reflects the esteem she carries, wherever she goes.”

“As a Director of Scouting for the Sky Blue Organization she will be able to help us provide countless opportunities for a lot of young women to fulfill their dream of playing professional soccer. We are truly blessed to have her in our organization."

Sissi played for the Brazil Women’s National Team from 1988 to 2000 appearing in three World Cups and two Olympics. She was the co-leader in scoring at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup with seven goals and also served as team captain in 1995, 1999 and 2000. She also finished second in the FIFA World Player of the Year voting in 1999.

In the WUSA, Sissi starred with the CyberRays in all three seasons that the league existed. Serving as the team’s playmaker and midfield leader, she led the team to the 2001 Founders Cup Championship and was also named to the league’s All-Star team in all three seasons. She was also awarded the WUSA Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2002.

“We’re honored to have one of the all-time greats of women’s soccer associated with Sky Blue,” said Sky Blue Soccer President and CEO Thomas Hofstetter. “There is a lot of women’s soccer talent in the Americas and we’re hoping Sissi can help us tap into that wealth.”

Season tickets are on sale now for the inaugural season of Women's Professional Soccer in 2009. The Sky Blue professional team will play all home games at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. For more information on season tickets, visit the Sky Blue Soccer website at www.SkyBlueSoccer.com

http://www.skybluesoccer.com/index.php/eng/sbs_news/20080606_sissi

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 12:49:43 PM »
After a mediocre W-League season by their own high standards, the Sky Blue franchise is now deep into the development phase of their new WPS side, due to start in summer 2009. Their W-League 2008 summer ended with 4 losses and 2 draws in the 14 game season in the North East Division of the Eastern Conference leaving them well short of a play-off spot.

Having dropped the Jersey from the title of their new team, the Sky Blues share of the first two WPS player picks is now known, and the Sky Blue coach, Ian Sawyers, comments on the outcome so far:-

Sky Blue FC picks Walsh, Rosana, Ester, Parker in International Draft
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
by Sky Blue Soccer

SOMERSET, NJ - After receiving a strong allocation of domestic talent last week, Sky Blue FC added some international flair to its roster today when Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) held its first-ever international draft.

With his selections in the four-round draft, Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers claimed the rights to Sarah Walsh of Australia, Rosana and Ester of Brazil, and Kelly Parker of Canada. Sky Blue will now begin a formal negotiation process with each selected player upon receiving permission from that player’s current club.

Today’s international draft followed the allocation of players from the United States Women’s National Team last week. In the allocation process, Sky Blue FC earned the rights to Christie Rampone, Heather O’Reilly, and Natasha Kai. The order for the international draft was based upon the strength of each team’s allocation and Sky Blue FC was deemed to have the strongest and thus picked last in today’s proceedings.

“We are very happy with our picks,” Sawyers said. “We got our first pick, and it was a great way to set the tone. Considering that we were slated to pick last of all the teams in this round of international players, I got a lot of what I wanted.”

Sawyers tabbed Walsh with his first pick of the draft and seventh overall. The Australian striker has been a mainstay in recent years for the ‘Matildas’ appearing in the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The 25-year old was slated to play in the United States for the Pali Blues of the W-League – the top amateur women’s league in North America – this past summer but missed the season due to a broken leg.

The next two Sky Blue FC picks were Rosana and Ester – a pair of 26-year olds from the Brazil National Team that finished second at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and won the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A defensive midfielder, Rosana currently plays for SV Neulengbach in Austria and has played in the last three Olympic Games and the past two World Cups. A playmaking midfielder, Ester played every game in the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics and currently plays for Santos in Brazil.

The final pick for Sky Blue FC was Canadian Kelly Parker – a long-time player in the W-League. A graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, Parker played for the Ottawa Fury for five years before moving to W-League runner-up FC Indiana in 2008. An attacking central midfielder, the 27-year old has 48 goals and 41 assists over the past six W-League seasons and was named the W-League MVP in 2004.

“Since this is the fourth time I've done this, it brings a different challenge each time – different players, from different eras – but it’s always exciting,” said Sawyers, who served as the head coach for the San Jose CyberRays in the WUSA professional league from 2001 to 2003.

“We want our players to reflect the philosophy of Sky Blue Soccer, with good character and talent, and who want to play here. We want them to become great soccer role models, both on and off the field. New Jersey is in a very discerning neighborhood – our audience is so educated – so we want to give the fans a product all of us can be proud of.”

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2008, 09:55:46 PM »
McCallum Added to Sky Blue FC International List
Monday, September 29, 2008
by Sky Blue FC

SOMERSET, NJ - Sky Blue FC - the New Jersey/New York entry into Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - officially announced today that the club has acquired the negotiating rights to international player Collette McCallum of Australia. The rights to McCallum were acquired through the WPS post-draft discovery process.
 
McCallum is the fifth international player that Sky Blue FC has acquired the negotiating rights to. In last week's inaugural WPS International Draft, the New Jersey-based team picked Sarah Walsh of Australia, Rosana and Ester of Brazil, and Kelly Parker of Canada. The international players join United States Olympic gold medalists Christie Rampone, Heather O'Reilly, and Natasha Kai as potential players for Sky Blue FC.
 
"Colette is one of the most talented playmakers in the women's game right now - her ability to split defenses from deep in her own half along with her combination play make her an exceptional pick up for us," said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. "She combines extremely well with Sarah (Walsh) and we hope they form a tremendous partnership, as they have with the Australian National Team. We look forward to bringing her into the Sky Blue family."
 
At just 22 years old, McCallum already boasts an accomplished international career including a selection as a finalist for the Asian Football Confederation Women's Player of the Year award in 2007. The central midfielder has been a member of the Australia Women's National Team since 2005 with six goals in 54 caps including four appearances at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup where the "Matildas" advanced to the quarterfinal round. She also appeared at two FIFA Under-20 World Championships in 2004 and 2006.
 
The Glasgow, Scotland-born McCallum already had a taste of playing in the United States this past summer when she starred for California's Pali Blues of the W-League. McCallum posted five goals and two assists in eight regular season games for the undefeated Blues before helping the first-year team to the W-League Championship.

http://womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid5346.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 01:15:46 AM »
Sky Blue FC Selects Asante in Discovery Process
Friday, October 03, 2008
by Sky Blue Soccer

Sky Blue FC – the New Jersey/New York entry into Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) – officially announced today that the club has acquired the negotiating rights to international player Anita Asante of England. The rights to Asante were acquired through the WPS post-draft discovery process.

Including Asante, Sky Blue FC has now acquired the negotiating rights to six international players. In the inaugural WPS International Draft, the New Jersey-based team picked Sarah Walsh of Australia, Rosana and Ester of Brazil, and Kelly Parker of Canada. Following that draft, Sky Blue FC added Collette McCallum of Australia as a post-draft discovery selection.

The international players join United States Olympic gold medalists Christie Rampone, Heather O’Reilly, and Natasha Kai as potential players for Sky Blue FC.

“Anita has rapidly become one of the top defensive players in the women’s game,” said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. “We feel she will be a huge asset alongside Christie Rampone as the cornerstones in the Sky Blue FC defense.”

Asante has been a member of the England National Team since 2004. She played in every qualifying game leading up to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and then played every minute of her team’s four games at the World Cup as England advanced to the quarterfinal round before falling to the United States. She also played for England on the U-17 and U-19 youth levels, competing at the first-ever FIFA U-19 World Championship in 2002.

On the club level, Asante made news this past summer when she moved from England Women’s Premier League powerhouse Arsenal to Chelsea. Asante currently has Chelsea in second place in the league at 5-0-1 for 16 points while Arsenal stands atop the table at 7-0-0 for 21 points. During her time at Arsenal, Asante led the Lady Gunners to a stellar season in 2006/07 with a quadruple championship: the UEFA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s National Premier League championship, and FA Women’s Premier League Cup.

Sky Blue FC will now participate in the WPS General Draft on Monday, October 6. The draft will consist of four rounds of selections and 28 picks total from a pool of domestic and international players that have expressed interest in playing in the league. The draft can be followed online in real time at fans.womensprosoccer.com starting at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PT.

Following the draft, there will be a recap and a discussion of WPS with Nick Webster, Steve Cohen and a special WPS guest on Fox Soccer Channel's Fox Football Fone-In live starting at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PT on Monday, October 6.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid5436.aspx?team=ny

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 10:57:44 AM »
Sky Blue FC Adds Four Through WPS General Draft
Monday, October 06, 2008
by Sky Blue Soccer

Sky Blue FC – the New Jersey/New York franchise in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) – obtained the negotiating rights to four additional players today through the WPS General Draft. With its four picks in the draft, Sky Blue FC selected goalkeeper Cori Alexander, defender Keeley Dowling, midfielder Kacey White, and defender Jenny Anderson-Hammond.

Sky Blue FC now controls the negotiating rights to 13 players total including six international players picked in the WPS International Draft and discovery process and the three United States Women’s National Team players – Heather O’Reilly, Christie Rampone, and Natasha Kai – acquired through an allocation process.

“Again, as in the last draft, I am delighted with the mix of players I was able to select,” said Sky Blue FC Head Coach and General Manager Ian Sawyers. “In this group we have international experience, either the full US National team, Under 23 or Under 20 US National teams. So they've played in big games, under pressure, and they bring that high level of playing experience with them to our team. All four of them also come from high level collegiate programs; at least two have won NCAA National Championships.”

The first pick in the draft for Sky Blue FC and seventh overall was Alexander, who starred on the collegiate level for the University of Portland and captured an NCAA Championship with the Pilots in 2005. She was a member of the United States Under-23 National Team that captured the Nordic Cup in each of the past two summers. The 23-year old native of Martinez, CA was also a member of the Seattle Sounders Women in the W-League this past summer.

Sky Blue FC added to its defense with its next pick (8th overall) selecting Keeley Dowling. The former University of Tennessee player has been in residency with the USWNT the past two years and also has extensive appearances for the United States on the youth level including a FIFA Under-19 World Championship title in 2002 and a Nordic Cup title with the US U-21 team in 2004. The 25-year old native of Carmel, IN also played in Sweden with KIF Örebro 2005 and 2006 and with the Charlotte Lady Eagles in the W-League.

With the 21st pick overall, Sky Blue FC tabbed former University of North Carolina standout Kacey White. A member of the USWNT and an alternate for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, White has also played with the US U-19, U-21, and U-23 National Teams. In addition to playing with Bälinge in Sweden, the 24-year old from Arlington, TX has also played on the club level for the New Jersey Wildcats – a team she led to the 2005 W-League Championship, earning Tournament MVP honors in the process.

The final Sky Blue FC pick and 22nd overall was Anderson-Hammond, who currently serves as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois University. A graduate of Clemson University, Anderson-Hammond has extensive experience in the W-League, most recently with the Chicago Gaels in 2008. The 25-year old native of Mission Viejo, CA also played with the Asheville Splash, Boston Renegades, and Charlotte Lady Eagles.

http://womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid5504.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 11:16:54 AM »
The WPS October general draft results are on the main league thread but have been followed by some comment on the choices made by the seven teams.

Comments on the Sky Blue choices were as follows:-

Sky Blue FC

Picks: Cori Alexander, Keeley Dowling, Kasey White, Jenny Anderson-Hammond

Sometimes a draft pick is about need; sometimes it's about taking the best player left on the board. In a fortunate few situations, it's all of the above. While it's easy to wonder if Cori Alexander might have been available in the third round, considering no other ‘keeper was selected until the final round, she was far too good for Sky Blue to pass up without the benefit of hindsight. The former University of Portland standout certainly has the tools to be a first-choice ‘keeper from the moment the team gathers next spring.

Alexander was already going to be in good shape with Christie Rampone anchoring the back line, but until Monday's draft, it wasn't clear who those anchored few would be. Bringing in English international Anita Asante will be tremendous if it works out, but second-round pick Keeley Dowling and fourth-round pick Jenny Anderson-Hammond provide more concrete pillars to build around for now. Dowling, in particular, looks like one of those players who could gain a National Team foothold through WPS experience.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 02:36:12 PM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2008, 02:45:56 PM »
Ian Sawyers: ''I'm delighted with the mix of players I was able to select''
Friday, October 10, 2008
by Sky Blue Soccer

After the WPS General Draft, Sky Blue FC Head Coach and General Manager Ian Sawyers was asked for his reaction to his picks: goalkeeper Cori Alexander, defender Keeley Dowling, midfielder Kacey White, and defender Jenny Anderson-Hammond. Here are his thoughts:

Again, as in the last draft, I am delighted with the mix of players I was able to select. In this group we have international experience, either the full US National team, Under 23 or Under 20 US National teams. So they've played in big games, under pressure, and they bring that high level of playing experience with them to our team. All four of them also come from high level collegiate programs; at least two have won NCAA National Championships.

Trying to do your homework is the most difficult thing; especially when there are a lot of concerns, ground to be covered, budgetary constraints, and seeing players at the peak of their playing season, which is not always easy. As soon as I got on board I immediately went to Portugal (to the Algarve Cup in February) to try to get the download on international players, W-League and WPSL games and combines, and players in collegiate environment to try to get a sense of the general depth of talent. It all affects your perspective on both American and international talent, and assists in maximizing the odds, so you are always reaching for the cream of the crop.

One of the things you’ll see in WPS, is that coaches have chosen international players for almost all the offensive skill positions. One of great results is that Americans will compete with and against them, get better from that, and learn from them.

One of the major differences between the WPS and my tenure with the WUSA is we don’t have the headliners this time around. There’s no Mia Hamm, Birgit Prinz-- the real household names ’99 brought. The beauty of this is that WPS will make a lot of stars. For some of these players, their professional journey is just beginning. Being able to forge their way into the American consciousness will be an exciting journey for them.

My wife and child haven’t seen me in three weeks. This last week I had to get my blackberry surgically removed from my ear—I was talking to so many players, interviewing them. The thing we all have to remember is that this is like the futures market. You’re banking that even while you’ve seen these players, they come in fit, healthy, and strong. That’s the investment you’re willing to take, based on your character assessment as well as an evaluation of their soccer. For the most part, I was lucky in the past. I’ve had a lot of success with my speculation. I really feel good about our group, who are great people, as well as great athletes and soccer players. One of our major challenges will be to make them into a great team.

The most important part of any team is that it becomes a meritocracy; that players earn their way onto the team. There are some who have earned respect by winning gold medals and World Cups, and there are some staring their journey. Senior players will want to prove they’re worthy, and junior players will want to establish themselves. We want to create an environment that allows for both, as well as a strong sense of team cohesion.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid5558.aspx?team=ny


Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2008, 12:51:50 PM »
Sky Blue Feature: A Conversation with Kacey White
October 20, 2008
by Gloria Averbuch - Sky Blue Soccer
 
U.S. National Team member Kacey White, selected by Sky Blue FC in the most recent draft, is no stranger to New Jersey, having played for the 2005 W-League Champion New Jersey Wildcats. She was also a standout player at the University of North Carolina (UNC), alma mater of other top WPS drafted players such as Heather O’Reilly, Cat Whitehill, Lori Chalupny and Lindsey Tarpley. Says UNC coach Anson Dorrance, “In the storied history of our program, Kacey White is the most productive flank midfielder we’ve ever had.”

How does a Texas girl feel about coming to New Jersey?

I’m actually really excited. A lot of people have asked me what it’s like to live in the Northeast. I enjoyed it, and I don’t think it’s going to be difficult to acclimate to New Jersey. When I played for the Wildcats, I went into New York City a lot. I enjoyed all the sights, going to Broadway, everything the City has to offer. I’ve actually always been a “city girl,” even though I’m from Texas. I really love the area, and want to get to know it better. That’s not just New York; it’s New Jersey. I wouldn’t want to live there and not take full advantage of it.

What was it like going through the WPS draft?

It helped to know I'd be okay any place I went. That's the good thing about having lived overseas. But during the draft, it seemed all the teams were selecting defenders. I was sitting with my dad at the computer, and we talked about what it would be like for an NFL player, who is shown on T.V. during the process; how hard that would be. I really believe that I ended up where I need to be. The process was nerve racking though. You put your heart into what you do, but so many factors go into the draft. It's not just about you. It's what's the best fit (for the team), and the best timing.

What did you learn playing overseas?

In 2006, I played for one season for Balinge IF (in the Swedish Premier League Damallsvenskan). I went back to a different Swedish club in the Fall of ’07. (** I reckon that was AIK) The cultures play very differently. Americans are different from the Swedish, or the Brazilians. Playing overseas expanded the way I look at the game, tactically, and how the game can be played. I think it’s helped me develop as a player and helped me bring that to my game in the past two years.

Part of the challenge of WPS is to create a “viewing culture” in youth soccer. They play but don’t tend to watch. Did you watch soccer growing up?

Definitely. I grew up watching videos of World Cups and other championships with my parents. I always had a passion. My father played in college and professionally in Colorado. That fostered within me an excitement about watching, and helped me develop my love of the game. I started having role models, both on and off the field, at a young age. That doesn’t happen enough today, but I was lucky to have it. Only recently, though, I’ve started using watching as a tool, to help me develop into a better player.

One thing that stood out about being overseas, is that they are all students of the game. Players are always watching, in person or on television or videos, how to play at the highest level. I took that from being over there as a way I could develop my game—by watching soccer even more. It’s so accessible in Europe. It’s mostly men’s games, but also the women’s game.

What can you and other players do to ensure success of WPS?

It’s important we put the best product on the field. We have to train hard and take it seriously. Also, we have to do what we can to be positive role models off the field: participating in camps and clinics--whatever we can to promote game, so that young girls can relate to us and we can be accessible to them as well.

http://womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid5864.aspx


Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 11:15:01 AM »
Dowling expects to learn a lot playing for Sky Blue FC
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
by Dan Lauletta, womensprosoccer.com

Keeley Dowling, a fringe National Team player in 2008, was taken eighth overall by Sky Blue FC in the October 6 WPS General Draft, and yet she still has one thing in mind when it comes to her soccer career: She wants to get better.

“That’s something that I’m definitely going to push for while I’m playing in WPS,” she said.  “Something I’m going to talk to Ian (Sawyers, Sky Blue head coach) about is to say, ‘Listen, I need to get better.  How can I get better?’”

The University of Tennessee’s first women’s soccer star, the 25-year-old Dowling was called into the National Team early this year, but a back injury took her out of consideration for a shot at the Olympic team.  In 2002, Dowling experienced the thrill of winning a world championship as a member of the U.S. squad that was victorious at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship.

Having now reached an age where her window of opportunity to become an international mainstay is closing, the central defender known for her vertical leap still has her sights set on drawing the attention of U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage.

“It’s still a goal of mine,” she said.  “With the National Team experience that I have, I know I still have some things I need to improve on.”

Part of that National Team experience has been training alongside fellow center back Christie Rampone.  That time should prove valuable if Dowling winds up in the center of the Sky Blue backline next to Rampone, the National Team captain who was allocated to the club in September.

“I wouldn’t say it was a lot, but I have gotten a chance to play with her,” Dowling said of Rampone.  “Her being as fast as she is makes her fun to play with.  She’s a very smart player.  Definitely if not the best, one of the best center backs.  I’ll definitely be learning a lot from her if that’s where I’m playing.

“However I can compliment her, I’ll just play to the best of my ability.  We’ll just kind of have to feel it out to see how we do.  I think she’ll bring the best out in me just because she has so much experience.  Hopefully I can do the same thing for her.”

Dowling though, stopped short of guaranteeing that she would be lining up in her familiar central defense role.  When she sent her draft form to the league, Dowling was certain to note her willingness and ability to play anywhere on the pitch.  She has spent the last year diversifying her game to make her more valuable to her side.

“I’ve been working more technically,” she said.  “I feel like the past year, that part of my game has gotten a lot better.  You have to be better technically if you play mid or center mid or outside back or forward.  That’s something that I’ve wanted to do.  I just want to be more versatile and not just stuck at center back.

For the time being, Dowling is rounding herself into playing shape.  She underwent treatment on her back during the summer and stayed clear of the weight room to give herself a chance to recover.

Last fall she took a position on the coaching staff at the University of Tennessee and sometimes joins in the action during training sessions.  As she continues to feel healthier, she has found herself jumping in to the fray more often.

One thing that surprised Dowling during her first recruiting season is how early high school players are committing to major colleges even compared to when she selected Tennessee.  Still she relishes an opportunity to help the Volunteers, whose record currently sits at 8-9-1, make the jump from a team just looking to reach the NCAA tournament to a national title threat.

“It’s been too many years in a row we have gotten to the Sweet Sixteen (but no further),” she said of the Lady Vols’ five Sweet Sixteen ousters over the last six seasons.

The WPS season will take Dowling away from a portion of recruiting season, but it will give her an advantage in being able to tell perspective players that she went through Tennessee and made it to the pro league.

“I don’t think it will hurt,” Dowling said.

http://womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid6086.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 01:23:39 AM »
Sky Blue's the limit for Australian women's soccer duo
by Frank Giase, The Star-Ledger
Monday January 05, 2009

Australia is slowly closing the gap on the elite teams in women's soccer and their players were in high demand at the Women's Professional Soccer International Draft last fall.

Two of those players will be playing in New Jersey this year, and don't be surprised if they turn out to be key components for Sky Blue FC this season.

Forward Sarah Walsh and central midfielder Collette McCallum helped Australia finish 1-0-2 in group play and advance to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Women's World Cup, where the team lost to Brazil, 3-2.

It was a performance that caught the eye of Sky Blue coach and general manager Ian Sawyers, who made Walsh the team's top pick (No. 7 overall) in the International Draft.

"I couldn't be happier with how things have turned out and can't wait to be a part of what seems to be a great setup," Walsh wrote in an e-mail.

Walsh will team with U.S. international Heather O'Reilly up front, but she has an advantage over O'Reilly because of her years playing with McCallum.

"My strength is probably my pace and ability to find myself in goal-scoring opportunities," Walsh wrote. "After spending years in the Australian national team with Collette, together we bring an understanding of each other's game, which has in the past produced many goals."

McCallum, whose rights were acquired through a post-draft discovery process, is looking forward to raising her game in what she hopes will become the top women's league in the world.

"I hope that WPS makes me a better football player physically and mentally," McCallum wrote in an e-mail. " ... It will also give me and other players the chance to show off our talent. It's very hard to show your face and ability in Australia."

While McCallum gets her share of goals, it's her creative play in the midfield that will be counted on most.

"I have good vision, I read the game really well and I'm a strong passer of the ball," McCallum wrote. "I've been called a dead-ball specialist quite a bit -- I love taking free kicks and corners. The one thing I really love is setting up goals and being a team player.

"I hope I bring all this to the club and that Sky Blue will win a trophy at the end of the season."

Both players are looking forward to playing alongside O'Reilly, as well as the other two U.S. internationals on the team, defender Christie Rampone and midfielder Natasha Kai.

"I have played against them several times," McCallum wrote. "All three are quality players that bring a different style to the game. It will be a great challenge to fit into the squad with my style of football and I hope to prove that I am a key player."

Said Walsh: "I have played against the U.S. girls several times in the past, so I'm looking forward to mixing it (up) with them on the same team for a change."

Walsh is also just happy to be playing again. She spent seven months recovering from a fractured tibia last year.

Last month, WPS held invitation-only combines on both coasts for graduating college seniors who have completed their eligibility, as well as national and international players from amateur leagues.

The league will hold its inaugural draft Jan. 16 in St. Louis in conjunction with the annual convention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2009/01/sky_blues_the_limit_for_austra.html
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 01:29:12 AM by redrobin »

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 02:43:26 PM »
Sky Blue FC Reaches Agreement with Australians Walsh, McCallum
Tuesday, January 06, 2009 - Somerset, New Jersey
by Sky Blue Soccer

Sky Blue FC – the NJ/NY entry into Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) – announced today (5-1-09) that the club has secured agreements in principle with Australians Sarah Walsh and Collette McCallum for the 2009 season.

Both Walsh and McCallum are expected to be in uniform when Sky Blue FC kicks off its first season in WPS. The team will host the Los Angeles Sol on April 5, 2009 at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ in its debut match.

The Australia Women’s National Team members are the first two internationals to come to terms with Sky Blue FC for the WPS inaugural season. Sky Blue FC obtained the negotiating rights to Walsh in the WPS International Draft in on September 24, 2008. The Aussie forward was the club’s first-round selection and the seventh-overall pick. A central midfielder, McCallum was picked up by Sky Blue FC as a post-draft discovery player two days later.

“The most important thing is that we have reached an agreement in principle on the main terms of the contract with Sarah Walsh and Collette McCallum,” said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. “It means that they are very excited to get here.”

Sawyers is hoping that the familiarity between Walsh and McCallum will give Sky Blue FC the basis of a formidable attack. Walsh is a speedy striker with strong scoring ability, while McCallum is a capable creator in the midfield with the knack for setting up scoring opportunities. The two were catalysts for Australia’s strong showing at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, where the team progressed out of the group stage and into the quarterfinal round.

“Obviously, having someone of Sarah Walsh's caliber – one of the quickest and most dangerous strikers in the world – is a huge plus,” Sawyers added. “And to have the skilled play-making of Collette McCallum behind Sarah is a huge asset. The fact that Collette has the experience of knowing Sarah's game so well, having played with her on the Australian National Team, means we are provided with both talent and stability.”

In joining Sky Blue FC for the inaugural WPS season, Walsh and McCallum will have the unique opportunity to participate in the kickoff of two women’s soccer leagues in less than a year’s span. The duo currently plays in Australia’s Westfield W-League, which started its first season in October and will wrap up with the Grand Final on January 17th. Walsh missed most of the season with Sydney FC due to injury but is back for the upcoming playoffs, while McCallum played with the Perth Glory.

“I'm very excited to be playing in WPS in ’09, WPS will be one of the most competitive leagues in the world, if not the most competitive league,” Walsh said. “I had a pretty rough year in 2008 – I spent seven months rehabbing from a fractured tibia and that has made me hungrier than ever to play again. I'm hoping to develop further as a footballer by playing in a high-intensity environment week in, week out.”

After suffering the fractured tibia in a friendly match against Canada on May 23rd, Walsh made her first appearance with Sydney FC on December 27th when she came off the bench late. Walsh – who turns 26 this coming Sunday – has been a mainstay in recent years for the ‘Matildas’ appearing in the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She made her debut with Australia in 2004 and has 26 goals in 55 appearances.

“My strengths are my pace and ability to put myself in goalscoring opportunities,” Walsh said. “After spending years together with Collette in the Australia National Team, we bring an understanding of each other’s game and in the past that has produced many goals.”

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, McCallum has six goals in 47 appearances in her four years on the Australia National Team. The 22-year old will be joining her second team in the United States after playing with the Pali Blues in the USL W-League this past summer. Known as a set piece specialist and a dangerous distributor, McCallum posted five goals and two assists in eight regular season games before helping the Blues to the USL W-League championship. She appeared in all 10 games with the Perth Glory in the Westfield W-League notching two goals.

“I came to America last year and it was a great experience to see the lifestyle and the standard of football here,” McCallum said. “I'm looking forward to be playing with, and against, the best players in the world. I've heard great things about Sky Blue FC and Ian Sawyers. It's going to be a big change of lifestyle for me and I hope I adapt to it well.”

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid7256.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 08:00:35 PM »
Sky Blue FC Selects “Home-Town” Girl Averbuch in First Round of WPS Draft
Friday, January 16, 2009
by Sky Blue Soccer

Yael Averbuch won’t have to travel too far to practice when she starts her professional career in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). Sky Blue FC – the NJ/NY franchise in WPS – selected the Upper Montclair, NJ-native today with its first round pick, the fourth overall, in the 2009 WPS Draft.

Averbuch comes to New Jersey after a successful career at the University of North Carolina. The powerful midfielder is fresh off an NCAA College Cup championship run with the Tar Heels – her second with the other coming in 2006. Averbuch joins former UNC teammates Heather O’Reilly and Kacey White on the Sky Blue FC roster.

“Yael brings such a tremendous winning mentality to our club,” said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. “She has been one of the most prolific collegiate players for the past 4 years as well as representing her country at many levels. Her talent and soccer credentials are numerous, but just as important she has been inspirational in many aspects off the field. I want to build my team around strong characters like Yael.”

Averbuch is a product of the New Jersey youth soccer system, having played her club ball with Arsenal World Class and Montclair United, and having participated in NJ Olympic Development Program. The Montclair High School graduate also got her start in New Jersey on the senior level, playing with the New Jersey Lady Stallions of the W-League. In 2002, Averbuch became the youngest player to compete in the W-League at the age of 15.

“I’m extremely happy because I was hoping to be able to stay at home in New Jersey and represent Sky Blue FC,” said Averbuch, who drew worldwide fame for scoring the fastest goal in NCAA history when she connected four seconds into a game against Yale in 2006.

“I’ve grown up here and played soccer here my whole life, besides the four years at UNC,” Averbuch added. “The soccer culture and community here is like nowhere else I’ve ever been. I am so excited to still be a part of this community. I was trying to keep an open mind – all the teams have a lot of positives about them, but I was hoping to play in New Jersey, so I couldn’t be happier.”

At UNC, Averbuch left the storied program holding the career record for most consecutive games started with 105 along with many other accolades. She was a three-time NSCAA All-American and was the Soccer Buzz and Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Year in 2006. On the academic side, Averbuch received the Today's Top VIII Award as a senior, the most prestigious student-athlete honor awarded by the NCAA. She was also the ESPN Academic All-American of the Year and NSCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year this past fall. Her Tar Heel jersey will be retired alongside former greats Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly.

On the international level, Averbuch has played on multiple youth levels and is also currently a member of the United States Women’s National Team pool with two caps under her belt. She was a member of the US team that finished third in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships in Thailand in 2004, and is currently the captain of the US Under-23 National Team. She was awarded MVP after the US U-23s captured the Nordic Cup title in 2008.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid7702.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 01:41:05 PM »
Selected by Sky Blue FC, Schnur’s plan comes into focus
Friday, January 30, 2009
by Graham Hays, womensprosoccer.com

Pop the champagne and throw another log on the fire.
 
No, seriously, throw something on the fire; it's freezing in here.
 
On January 16, Meghan Schnur gained entry into one of the more exclusive athletic clubs, joining the likes of Indiana Pacers swingman Brandon Rush and Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart as the No. 13 overall selection in a professional sports league's most recent draft. In Schnur's case, the chance to play for a paycheck came courtesy of Sky Blue FC in the second round of the Women's Professional Soccer draft.
 
And to celebrate on draft day, after she got home from a full day of work and a trip to the gym, she invited over some friends for dinner. But when a bottle of wine had been uncorked and people still had their coats on, she realized something might be amiss. 
 
"I turned the heat up to about 70 degrees, and I could still see my breath," Schnur recalled of one of the coldest nights of the winter in Connecticut. "It was about 7:30 at night and I realized there is probably something wrong with my heating system in my house."   
 
So she celebrated her first night as a professional soccer player by waiting for a late-night visit from the gas company. The customized Lincoln Navigator will have to wait.
 
Those modest trappings of success aside, the barrage of congratulatory text messages that awaited her earlier in the day when she finally had a chance to check her phone around noon – that's how she discovered she had been selected – told a story all their own. In the broken grammar and abbreviations was a benediction of sorts.
 
When she walked off the field in Tallahassee, Fla. almost a year and a half ago in the wake of Connecticut's quarterfinal loss to Florida State in the NCAA tournament, Schnur wasn't ready to be done with soccer. Looking back at it, she talked about the sense of disorientation that came from being on campus the following spring without the constant of soccer that had always been there before.
 
She bugged coach Len Tsantiris about practicing with the women's team during its spring season, and then bugged men's coach Ray Reid about practicing with his team when that made more scheduling sense. And even as school ended and the workday world beckoned, Schnur couldn't trade in her cleats and start trading on her diploma.
 
Even if that meant a tough sales pitch to parents, dad a principal and mom a teacher, who she thought might not exactly embrace the prospects of nurturing a soccer bum.   
 
"I just basically told them this is what I wanted to do for right now," Schnur said. "I wanted to continue to play soccer, because I know for myself, I'm not ready to give it up yet. And it's just this feeling I believe everyone has, where they're either ready to or they're not. Those kids that I've talked to who have hung up their shoes, they have a clear vision of what they want to do next. And I don't have that yet.
 
"So I just told them that this is something I want to do and maybe it's not going to consist of my whole year, and maybe I could work [in physical therapy] on an interim basis or a per-diem basis. … They were really accepting. And they were kind of excited that I actually had a plan, because a lot of times I go by the seat of my pants. So they were quite impressed I actually put some thought into things."
 
The plan started with the summer season, including a trip to the Nordic Cup on the U.S. Under-23 national team and as much of the WPSL season as she could squeeze in, including a trip to the semifinals with the New England Mutiny. Then she was left to train on her own throughout the fall, while simultaneously fulfilling the internships required for her Masters in physical therapy, in preparation for the WPS Combine.
 
While at that event in Fort Lauderdale the week before Christmas, she struck up a conversation with Sky Blue FC general manager and coach Ian Sawyers, one of the many familiar names with unfamiliar faces that made up her potential employers.
 
"I spoke briefly with Ian, just introduced myself and he introduced himself," Schnur said.

"Kind of just got a little chat going, talking about Carey O'Brien [formerly Carey Dorn] … my assistant coach up at UConn, because he had her as a player when he coached out in California in the WUSA. So we had a common friend, I guess. I used that to spark a little bit of a conversation. It wasn't too much but just enough to kind of get an idea of what kind person he was."
 
And yet neither the months of training nor the combine networking made sleep any easier the night before the draft.
 
"I had a nice little dinner – probably some pasta – and fell asleep rather early," Schnur said. "But I kept waking up, because your mind just doesn't stop, it just keeps racing whenever there is something important weighing on it. So it was pretty restless."
 
The upside of having to work the day of the draft proved to be a busy morning caseload that kept her attention focused on other endeavors – despite a regular volleys of inquiries from coworkers as the clock crept forward, asking if she'd heard any news yet. But even if drafts are the most unathletic of athletic spectacles (especially when you're more than a thousand miles removed from the proceedings and don't have to worry about walking to the podium), they come with a particular brand of stress for those involved.
 
Just about any athlete who is good enough to be a potential draft pick has long since grown accustomed to having at least some measure of their fate in their own hands. But as the first pick approached, all Schnur had in her hands was a steering wheel.
 
"It was a lot of back and forth," Schnur said of her thoughts between waking up on draft morning and arriving at work. "It was kind of keeping myself confident and optimistic about it, rehashing the combine and talks I've had with different coaches, and trying to keep myself positive even if the outcome wasn't what I'd wanted or expected."
 
Of course, getting drafted only ever offers as much resolution as a movie that knows it will spawn a sequel. There is some comfort in going to New Jersey, both because of its proximity to her Pennsylvania hometown and familiarity with new teammates like Yael Averbuch, Cori Alexander and Fanta Cooper. But less than a week after getting the good news, Schnur is already busy trying to coordinate her internship schedule with her new team's early training plans at the end of February. Then there are housing arrangements still to be made and bills to transfer. And don't even ask about an agent. It seems Schnur might be willing to play for free, if only to save herself one more logistical headache.
 
"I'm on the phone with my dad, I'm not kidding, two or three times a day asking him questions, because I don't really know what to do," Schnur laughed. "I'm like, 'Dad, I'm not ready to be a real person yet; help me!'"
 
That's a sentiment Schnur may share with a great many of her peers as they embark on the inaugural season of play in the WPS. It's a new world for many of them, and hopefully in sharing her thoughts over the past three months, she's offered some measure of insight into a process that so many waited so long for.
 
Even if she's the only one who celebrated in a curiously chilly Connecticut apartment.
 
"Every once and awhile someone will say, 'Hey, you're a pro now,' and I've got to kind of do a double take and let that set in," Schnur said.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid8394.aspx

Offline K_Lincourt30

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2009, 02:31:04 AM »
Six Players Finalize Contracts with Sky Blue FC


SOMERSET, NJ (Feb. 12, 2009) - Sky Blue FC – the NJ/NY franchise in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) – announced today that the team has finalized contracts with six players for the 2009 season. The officially signed players are Brazilian Rosana, Australians Sarah Walsh and Collette McCallum, and Americans Cori Alexander, Keeley Dowling, and Jenny Hammond.

All six are expected to be in uniform when Sky Blue FC opens the season on April 5th against three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta and the Los Angeles Sol. Sky Blue FC will host the Sol at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ with a kickoff time of 4 p.m.

According to Sky Blue FC head coach and General Manager Ian Sawyers, the signing of these six players signifies a major step in the team’s progress.

“It’s very exciting that we have come to a stage that we have their commitment to the U.S., Women’s Professional Soccer, and most important, Sky Blue FC, and that they are fully committed to making the transition both culturally and athletically to hopefully what will be the best league in the world,” Sawyers said.

Sky Blue FC secured the rights to Rosana and Walsh during the WPS International Draft in September while McCallum was added as a post-draft discovery player. The rights to Alexander, Dowling, and Hammond were obtained during the WPS General Draft in October.

Sky Blue FC will be finalizing more contracts with players as it approaches the start of preseason on February 28th. The team will be holding open and invitational try-outs on February 25th & 26th before narrowing down its preseason roster. WPS league rules allow teams to maintain a roster of up to 28 players during the month-long preseason.

“We’re going into training camp with open spots available,” Sawyers said. “We hope this healthy competition will drive performances up.”



 
 



« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 02:33:00 AM by K_Lincourt30 »

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 08:13:36 PM »
Flying 'Sky' high

Orland's McDonnell drafted by NJ/NY Sky Blue FC
by Danny Sheridan
February 13, 2009 

Mary Therese McDonnell of Orland Park was recently drafted to play for the NJ/NY Sky Blue FC in the new Women’s Professional Soccer League.   

In a perfect world, on the evening of Jan. 18, Mary Therese McDonnell would have gotten a phone call telling her she was selected by the Chicago Red Stars in the new Women's Professional Soccer League.

Less than perfect isn't always a bad thing.

Instead, when the Orland Park resident found out she was picked by the NJ/NY Sky Blue FC, she was still blown away by the chance to compete against some of the best women players in the world. McDonnell wasn't even sure she would get drafted at all after the tryouts that took place one month earlier.

"Staying close to home would have been nice, but I was just so excited to get drafted," said McDonnell, who graduated from Sandburg in 2004. "I wasn't totally sure I would even get drafted by anyone, because I knew how tough the level of competition is going to be in this league.

"I'm just thrilled to get a chance to keep playing soccer."

In a few months, McDonnell will find herself on the same field with the likes of Team U.S.A. goaltender Hope Solo, fresh off a gold medal and starting goalie for St. Louis Athletica, one of seven teams in the league. She'll also go up against some of the top players in the world, as every team is allowed up to five international players on their roster.

So how will McDonnell, who just graduated from Illinois last spring and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as well as team MVP honors her senior year, adjust? Well, for starters, she'll be the first to admit she's pretty nervous.

The experience she got playing last summer for the Boston Renegades in a semi-professional league and then the Ireland Women's National Team will certainly help, but this will be a major step up in class.

"Right now, I'm obviously very excited and can't wait to get started, but at the same time, I'm looking at some of the women in this league, and thinking to myself, 'Wow,'" McDonnell said. "I mean, if I didn't feel a little overwhelmed right now I would be worried, because the organizers of the WPS really went all out to make sure we got the best possible talent in the world.

"I think this league could be a great start for women's soccer here in the U.S."

A similar league to the WPS (the WUSA) ended up lasting all of three years in the U.S., from 2001-2003, before folding. The absence of a professional soccer league in the U.S. for a few years has been a hot topic of debate, and according to its mission statement, the hope is that the WPS can be the premier women's soccer league in the world, and the global standard by which women's professional sports are judged.
 
Besides McDonnell's team based in NJ/NY, there will be teams from Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington D.C. The season, which gets underway in April, will run through August, with each team playing around 20 games.

"This is a huge step," said McDonnell, a defensive back who helped Sandburg get downstate in 2001 and 2003. "I think the biggest challenges for this league will be overcoming past failures and generating enough interest in women's soccer.

"Right now, probably not too many people have heard of the league, but hopefully that will change in the near future. Young girls who aspire to play soccer at the next level should get that chance, and we need to serve as role models for them."

McDonnell knows that this all might be a temporary thing. At Illinois, she majored in speech pathology, so she plans on going to graduate school eventually. As for right now though, McDonnell's focus is on preparing herself for the immediate challenges that lie ahead on the soccer field.

"Once I heard about the WPS from my coach at Illinois, right away I knew I wanted to be a part of it," she said. "This is a great opportunity for me, and who knows where it can lead.

"I was on my own in Boston and Ireland for a good portion of last summer, so I don't think the adjustment to being so far away will be too difficult. I've already met some girls on the team, and we're all real excited to get started."

http://www.opprairie.com/Articles-c-2009-02-12-191496.112113_Flying_Sky_high.html

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2009, 11:20:10 AM »
Asante Reaches Agreement with Sky Blue FC
Monday, February 23, 2009
by Sky Blue Soccer

Somerset, New Jersey -  Sky Blue FC announced today that the NJ/NY franchise of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) has secured the services of another international player by reaching an agreement with Anita Asante. The England National Team defender will join Sky Blue FC for the inaugural season of WPS.

Asante reached an agreement to join Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue FC opens its season on April 5th at 4 p.m. when it hosts three-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta and the Los Angeles Sol at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ.  Sky Blue FC previously announced agreements with Australians Sarah Walsh and Collette McCallum and Brazilian Rosana.

Asante joins Sky Blue FC from Chelsea Ladies FC in the England Women's Premier League. Sky Blue FC obtained her rights by selecting her as a post-draft discovery player on October 3, 2008. She will join her new team in mid-March following England's participation in the Cypress Cup, which runs from March 5-12.

"Having Anita on board is a huge coup," said Sky Blue FC General Manager & Head Coach Ian Sawyers. "Her level of play makes her one of the up-and-coming players in Europe, and definitely one of the premier players in England. She is a young player with what I believe is the potential to eventually become the captain of the England National Team."

Asante made her debut with England in May 2004 and has 34 caps with one goal. The 23-year old previously played for England on the U-17 and U-19 levels and she competed in the inaugural FIFA U-19 World Championship in Canada in 2002.

Prior to joining Chelsea in 2008, Asante played with the Arsenal Ladies. She joined Arsenal as a youth player in 1998 and was part of the team that captured the "quadruple" in 2006/2007 - the UEFA Women's Cup, FA Women's National Premier League, FA Women's Cup and the FA Women's Premier League Cup.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid9234.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2009, 03:32:10 AM »
Sky Blue FC Reaches Terms with O’Reilly, White, Averbuch
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
by Sky Blue Soccer

SOMERSET, New Jersey - Sky Blue FC added three highly talented Americans to its roster today with the announcement that Heather O’Reilly, Kacey White and Yael Averbuch have agreed to terms. The three United States internationals join the NJ/NY franchise of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) for the league’s inaugural season.

O’Reilly will “officially” sign her contract tonight at the PUMA team uniform unveiling event in New York City. Sky Blue FC will hold a contract signing ceremony for Averbuch tomorrow morning when the team holds its open tryouts at the GoodSports USA facility in Wall Township, NJ.

All three players have experience with the United States Women’s National Team and all three also starred on the collegiate level at the University of North Carolina. O’Reilly is a mainstay with the USWNT appearing in two Olympics and one FIFA World Cup while White was an alternate for the 2008 Olympics. Both O’Reilly and White are on the current USWNT roster for the Algarve Cup in March. Averbuch has two caps with the full USWNT and has starred on multiple youth levels from U-16 to U-23.

"Heather, Kacey and Yael form a fantastic UNC triumvirate for us here at Sky Blue FC," said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. "Their pedigree is second to none and we are really looking forward to providing a formidable platform for them to take their professional careers to a new level. They each bring special qualities not only as great players but also as first class ambassadors of the game. We look forward to the soccer community in New Jersey getting behind them."

Sky Blue FC opens its season on April 5th at 4 p.m. when it hosts three-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta and the Los Angeles Sol at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ.

O’Reilly celebrated her 100th cap with the USWNT last fall in the team’s victory tour after it captured the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The East Brunswick, NJ native made her debut with the USWNT in 2002 at the age of 17 and also appeared in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Sky Blue FC obtained the rights to O’Reilly in the WPS Allocation in September.

White has been a member of the USWNT pool since 2006 when she appeared at the Peace Queen Cup. The Arlington, TX native has experience with the US U-19 and U-21 National Teams including a Nordic Cup title in 2004. On the club level, she played in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan with Bälinge in 2006 and 2007 and with AIK in 2007. She also earned W-League Championship MVP honors with the New Jersey Wildcats in 2005. Sky Blue FC selected White in the third round of the WPS 2008 General Draft.

Averbuch was Sky Blue FC’s first-round draft pick in the WPS 2009 Draft in January. She joins the team after a successful career at North Carolina, where the three-time All-American led the Tar Heels to College Cup championships in 2006 and 2008. The Upper Montclair, NJ native was a member of the US team that finished third in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships in Thailand in 2004, and is currently the captain of the US U-23 National Team.

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid9294.aspx

Offline redrobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3828
    • View Profile
Re: Jersey Sky Blue/Sky Blue
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2009, 01:07:26 PM »
Sky Blue FC Releases Preseason Roster
Friday, February 27, 2009
by Sky Blue

Somerset, New Jersey - Sky Blue FC announced today the team's roster for its first preseason camp ever. The NJ/NY franchise of Women's Professional Soccer will start its camp on Sunday in Greensboro, NC and will remain there for 3 1/2 weeks in preparation for the league's inaugural season.

On the initial preseason roster, there are 30 hopefuls trying to stake their claim for a place on the Sky Blue FC squad for the season. Sky Blue FC will be missing six players during the early parts of the preseason due to national team commitments. Christie Rampone, Heather O'Reilly, Natasha Kai, and Kacey White are all currently in Portugal with the United States Women's National Team. Anita Asante (England) and Kelly Parker (Canada) are both slated to play in the Cyprus Cup. All six are expected to join their Sky Blue FC teammates by mid-March.

In addition to 22 players that were previously allocated, drafted or claimed, there will be eight players in camp on an invitational basis. These eight included five that were invited to preseason:

Krista Bobo - formerly with WUSA's Washington Freedom and New York Power and W-League's Atlanta Silverbacks
Domenique Esposito - former Rutgers University standout and Jersey Sky Blue W-League player the past two seasons
Noelle Keselica - former University of Virginia All-American recently played for Bälinge in Sweden
Sophia Perez - Mexico National Team goalkeeper recently played for SD United in the WPSL
Caroline Walden - four-year starter for Boston College is fresh off leading the Eagles defense

In addition, three players were discovered through a try-out process earlier this week and invited to training camp:

Shannon Myers - Villanova University assistant coach was a four-year goalkeeper for Syracuse University
Courtney Nash - long-time player for the West Michigan Firewomen in the W-League played for Saginaw Valley State
Mary Velan - Stevens Institute of Technology assistant coached played for the Adirondack Lynx in the WPSL and collegiately for SUNY Oneonta

According to WPS rules, each team may only maintain a roster of 28 players at any one time during the preseason. On March 13, each team is required to cut its roster down to 24 players. The final rosters of 18 players plus four development players will be announced on March 25.


SKY BLUE FC PRESEASON ROSTER
Alexander, Cori GK USA Seattle Sounders 
Asante, Anita D England Chelsea 
Averbuch, Yael  M USA   
Bardsley, Karen  GK  England  Pali Blues 
Bobo, Krista D/M  USA    Atlanta Silverbacks 
Buczkowski, Jen M USA   Chicago Gaels 
Cooper, Fanta   D USA   Umeå Södra 
Dowling, Keeley  D USA   KIF Örebro 
Esposito, Domenique  M USA   Jersey Sky Blue 
French, Mele  F USA   Pali Blues 
Hammond, Jenny D USA   Chicago Gaels   
Keselica, Noelle M USA     Bälinge   
Kai, Natasha  F USA    Kailua AA   
McCallum, Collette  M Australia   Perth Glory 
McDonnell, Mary Therese  D Ireland    Boston Renegades   
Myers, Shannon GK USA    Lancaster Inferno   
Nash, Courtney   M/D USA   West Michigan Firewomen 
O’Reilly, Heather    M/F USA  New Jersey Wildcats   
Parker, Kelly  M Canada    FC Indiana   
Perez, Sophia  GK Mexico    SD United   
Rampone, Christie D USA    New York Power
Rosana  M Brazil    SV Neulengbach
Schnur, Megan   M USA    New England Mutiny
Shaner, Christie     D USA  FC Indiana 
Sitch, Julianne D USA    FC Indiana 
Velan, Mary    F/MF USA  Adirondack Lynx
Walden, Caroline  D USA   SoccerPlus Connecticut
Walsh, Sarah F Australia  Sydney FC 
White, Kacey  M/F USA   Bälinge 
Zhang, Ouying  F China   San Diego Sea Lions 

How they were acquired:

USWNT Allocation: Natasha Kai, Heather O’Reilly, Christie Rampone

International Draft (Round in parentheses): Kelly Parker (4), Rosana (2), Sarah Walsh (1)

Post-Draft Discovery: Anita Asante, Collette McCallum

General Draft (Round in parentheses): Cori Alexander (1), Keeley Dowling (2), Jenny Hammond (4), Kacey White (3)

WPS 2009 Draft (Round in parentheses): Yael Averbuch (1), Karen Bardsley (3), Jen Buczkowski (6), Fanta Cooper (10), Mele French (9), Mary Therese McDonnell (8), Megan Schnur (2), Christie Shaner (4), Julianne Sitch (5), Ouying Zhang (7)

Invitation Players: Krista Bobo, Domenique Esposito, Noelle Keselica, Shannon Myers, Courtney Nash, Sophia Perez, Mary Valen, Caroline Walden

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/newsitem_ektid9496.aspx