Above: Forward Maya Hayes battles for a header this past weekend against St. Johns (Photo by Dennis Schneidler).
Defender Rachel Breton Heads to Norway to Join Amazon Grimstad FK
Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Monday its first roster cuts of the 2015 preseason. The announcement comes as the team prepares for its second match of the preseason this Saturday, where it will host the University of North Carolina at Mercer County College for a 3:00 p.m. kickoff.
“In the preseason, there are going to be some dings and some soreness, but we have a lot to focus on this week,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “Looking at our preseason schedule, we have a normal week this week where we can work towards building and implementing our game plan for UNC. The following week, we play two games in one week, so there will not be not be as many training opportunities. The first week of April, we get back in to our normal rhythm. Therefore, we have a lot to accomplish this week, but we are confident that we will get it done.”
Coming off a 3-0 defeat of St. John’s University on Saturday in its preseason debut, Sky Blue FC will welcome Danish National Team striker Nadia Nadim into camp this week. Nadim is coming off a six-game campaign in 2014 that saw her register seven goals and three assists. One other significant move is with defender Rachel Breton, who headed to Europe on Sunday to join the Toppserien League club Amazon Grimstad FK in Norway. Breton will remain with the team until the beginning of May and would be eligible to return to Sky Blue FC ahead of its May 9th home match with Seattle Reign FC. The Toppserien League is the top level Norwegian league.
Trialist departures from preseason camp include goalkeepers Shannon O’Brien and Genevieve Richard, defender Kim Elmore, midfielder Sheree Dillard and forwards Shelbee Stilwell, Amber Stobbs and Shu Tseng.
As mentioned above, Sky Blue FC continues its 2015 Preview Series Presented by Meridian Health in a pairing with the University of North Carolina this Saturday, March 21st, where the two sides will play a 3:00 p.m. game at Mercer County Community College. Admission into the match will be $10 per person, but all 2015 Sky Blue FC season ticket holders will get into the game for free. Pre-game activities will get underway at 1:30 p.m.
Sky Blue FC will open the NWSL regular season on the road when it travels to FC Kansas City on Sunday, April 12th. The team will play its home opener at Yurcak Field (Rutgers, Piscataway) on Saturday, April 18th, at 7:00 p.m. Season tickets are available now (10 home matches), with packages starting as low as $120. Make sure you catch all of the world class NWSL action this season at Yurcak Field by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849)!
SKY BLUE FC CONTRACTED/DRAFTED PLAYERS (ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
GOALKEEPERS: Aubrey Bledsoe (Wake Forest), Brittany Cameron (San Diego)
DEFENDERS: Lindsi Cutshall (Brigham Young), Caitlin Foord (Australia) - NYR, Kristin Grubka (Florida State), Hayley Haagsma (Texas Tech), Cami Levin (Stanford) - NYR, Meg Morris (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford) - NYR, Shade Pratt (Maryland), Christie Rampone (Monmouth) - NYR
MIDFIELDERS: Katy Freels (Auburn), Shawna Gordon (Cal State Long Beach), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Lo’eau LaBonta (Stanford), Taylor Lytle (Texas Tech), Nikki Stanton (Fairfield)
FORWARDS: Jonelle Filigno (Rutgers) – NYR, Maya Hayes (Penn State), Samantha Kerr (Australia) - NYR, Nadia Nadim (Denmark), Monica Ocampo (Mexico) - NYR
NYR – Not Yet Reported to camp
PLAYERS ON TRIAL (ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
MIDFIELDERS: Theresa Diederich (Alabama), Maruschka Waldus (Alabama)