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Ex Malmo star is new head coach in New Jersey

Reddy Named Sky Blue W-League Head Coach

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.

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.


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

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.”

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.


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