Melis has scored 64 goals in her last 63 club games (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC).
Three-Time Damallsvenskan Golden Boot Winner Manon Melis Signs with Club
Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) added significant offensive power to its roster on Tuesday, announcing that Dutch striker Manon Melis will be joining the team in 2012. The Rotterdam native finished as the top scorer of the Swedish league Damallsvenskan in three of the past four seasons, where she has registered 64 goals in just 63 career appearances for Sky Blue FC affiliate LdB FC Malmö.
“We think Manon will be one of the fastest forwards in WPS, and that is basically a requirement in this league because the defenses are so quick and physical,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “We expect her to be a goal scorer at this level, and she has a proven track record of doing that in the Swedish league and with her national team.”
Gabarra also says the 25-year-old Melis is a determined player who is more than capable of carrying her offensive success across the Atlantic Ocean.
“Manon is ready to take on the challenge of WPS,” he continued. “We looked at the potential goal scorers out there, and we knew we had to move on this one quickly. She was highly sought after in Europe, and I am also sure that other teams in this league thought about investigating her. It has been a long process to get this deal done, but we are very excited to have Manon sign with us.”
Melis, whose father Harry was a professional soccer player in the Netherlands, joined her native national team side in 2005. She has 83 caps for her country, and her 40 goals are already the most ever in Dutch National Team history. Her ability to find the back of the net truly hit stride this past September when she notched four tallies in a 6-0 win over Serbia in a qualification match for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013.
“Known as the ‘The Flying Dutchman,’ I think Manon is perfectly suited to WPS,” Sky Blue FC assistant coach Emma Hayes noted. “She is lightning quick, technical and with a wonderful eye for goal. I think she will capture the hearts of Sky Blue FC fans. She was wanted by everyone, and we are very lucky to have her.”
On the club level, Melis began her professional career in 2006, suiting up for Be Quick ’28 of the Dutch league Hoofdklasse before moving to LdB FC Malmö in 2007. She has spent the past five seasons with the club, playing alongside midfielder Therese Sjögran, who was on loan to Sky Blue FC in 2011. In just her second year in Damallsvenskan, Melis sat atop the league scoring table when she equaled then Umeå IK striker Marta by netting 23 goals. The following season, her year was cut short when she suffered a jaw injury, but she quickly returned to her offensive ways in 2010 to lead the league with 25 goals and was named the Damallsvenskan Player of the Year. This past season, a second consecutive championship year for LdB FC Malmö, she was again the top goal scorer in the league when she registered another 16 knocks.
“I am very excited to be bringing such a great forward to New Jersey,” Sky Blue FC President Thomas Hofstetter remarked. “Manon is one of the best scorers in women’s soccer, and to have her on our team next season will help us to improve our roster significantly.”
Sky Blue FC General Manager Gioia DiFlumeri also voiced her pleasure in the signing.
“Manon will be a welcomed addition to our club,” she commented. “She has consistently been successful at both the club and national team level, and we look forward to seeing her score some goals next season here in New Jersey.”
Don’t miss out on the excitement of Women’s Professional Soccer! 2012 Sky Blue FC season and flex tickets are currently on sale now, beginning at less than $100. Fans who are interested in purchasing can do so today by calling the team at 888-SBFC-TIX.
ResVideo: Sky Blue FC's Manon Melis and Jim Gabarra