Tasha Kai led the Sky Blue FC offense last year with six goals (Photo by Robyn McNeil, ISI Photos).
Team Heading to Florida for Preseason Camp
Somerset, N.J. (Monday, March 8, 2010) – The 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season has officially arrived, and defending league champion Sky Blue FC opened its preseason training camp earlier today. The preseason schedule includes double training sessions at the Bob Smith Soccer Academy in Robbinsville, New Jersey, on Monday and Tuesday before the team heads down to Florida for the following two weeks.
“After much anticipation, it is great to finally get out and the field and into the action!” Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen exclaimed. “We have a very well-planned schedule of training that allows the players to get used to the team, and to gel. We look forward to great preparation in all areas, and to playing a variety of teams in preseason scrimmages.”
Miettinen, who formerly served as an assistant coach at Florida State University (FSU), will begin the team’s out-of-market training this Wednesday. Sky Blue FC has three exhibitions on tap during its time in the Sunshine State, beginning on Wednesday, March 17th, when the team plays FSU at 7:00 p.m. in Tallahassee. The team then heads to Gainesville on Saturday, March 20th, and will play the Boston Breakers that afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The third preseason exhibition for Sky Blue FC will be on Tuesday, March 23rd, when it plays the University of Florida at 7:00 p.m.
“Having been involved in so much preparation, from the player drafts to all the details of putting the ‘finishing touches’ on the schedule, I can say with complete confidence that the team is ready to hone its skills for the title defense this year,” Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone said. “I am also gratified that the schedule provides plenty of opportunity for our fans to get an early look at the team.”
Sky Blue FC returns from Florida on Wednesday, March 24th, and will then begin conducting its daily training sessions at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. The team will also play in three more exhibition games, first against the Rutgers University (Piscataway) women’s team on Sunday, March 28th, at 10:00 a.m. The final two preseason games include a 4:00 p.m. meeting with the UConn women’s team at Rutgers Prep on Tuesday, March 30th, and a final match-up with the Arsenal World Class U-17 Boys team on Monday, April 5th. Details of the final game, and confirmation of the rest of the preseason schedule, will be announced through the Sky Blue FC website at www.SkyBlueFC.com. All further preseason announcements will also be made through the team website.
In terms of roster cut-downs, the team will drop to 24 players on March 16th, and the official 18-player roster (and four development players) will be announced on April 1st.
Sky Blue FC will open its 2010 season on Sunday, April 11th, when the team hosts the Chicago Red Stars at 6:00 p.m. Sky Blue FC plays its home contests at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, and tickets for its upcoming season of play are available now by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.
Forwards: Kristen Edmonds (Rutgers), Sheree Gray (Penn State), Angela Salem (Francis Marion), Katie Schoepfer (Penn State), Mary Velan (SUNY), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Jessica Landstrom (Sweden), Laura Kalmari (Finland), Tasha Kai (Hawaii)
Midfielders: Melissa Clarke (LSU), Rosana (Brazil), Kacey White (UNC), Meghan Schnur (UConn), Heather O’Reilly (UNC), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Yael Averbuch (UNC)
Defenders: Kiersten Dallstream (Washington State), Jen Grubb (Notre Dame), Danielle Johnson (Ole Miss), Meghan Snell (Santa Clara), Keeley Dowling (Tennessee), Daphne Koster (Netherlands), Brittany Taylor (UConn)
Goalkeepers: Jenni Branam (UNC), Karen Bardsley (Cal State-Fullerton), Jenny Bindon (New Zealand), Ashley Thompson (UCLA)
Additional Players (Injured): Christie Rampone (Monmouth; Maternity Leave), Anita Asante (England), Nikki Washington (UNC)