Greig (Photo: Northern Football) and Loyden (Photo: Robyn McNeil) have joined head coach Christy Holly's staff.
Christy Holly Names Internationally Renowned Greig, Former U.S. WNT Goalkeeper Loyden as Assistant Coaches
Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) officially announced today that internationally renowned Paul Greig and former U.S. Women’s National Team and Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Jill Loyden have been named assistant coaches for the team by head coach Christy Holly.
“Both Jill and Paul are two coaches I am very much excited to work alongside,” said Christy Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach. “They will bring a tremendous amount of experience, knowledge and energy to our team environment. I have no doubt that they will both be incredible assets as we set out to achieve success this season.”
Greig, 28, comes to Sky Blue FC with vast international coaching experience, including stops in his native Scotland, USA, England, Sweden, Spain and most recently in New Zealand, where he was the head coach of Northern Football this past season. In what was his first year at the position, Greig led Northern Football to the ASB Women’s League championship to become the youngest coach in New Zealand history to manage his club to a National League title (men’s or women’s team). By scoring 37 goals in just nine matches, Northern Football was also the highest scoring club in league history.
Possessing 14 years of coaching experience, Greig served in a number of roles at the youth academy level in New Jersey before returning home to Scotland in 2006, where he earned an appointment as the Grassroots Manager at Scottish Premier League powerhouse Heart of Midlothian. Additionally, he worked at East Fife Football Club while coaching at the youth development level for both organizations. Greig eventually moved to New Zealand in 2011 and joined the National Talent Centre as head coach, and he has remained with the group until making his most recent move to Sky Blue FC.
“I am excited to be joining Sky Blue FC and to work alongside Christy, Jill and the staff,” Greig remarked. “The NWSL is one of the best leagues in the world, and the opportunity to be working with such a fantastic playing group day in, day out was an opportunity I jumped at when talking to Christy. This season will be exciting, both on and off the field, and I cannot wait to be a part of the journey. Christy is focused on creating a fantastic environment for the club to succeed, and that energy and passion is something that excites me to be a part of. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the coming weeks and months ahead.”
A native of Vineland, N.J., Loyden rejoins Sky Blue FC in a new capacity by becoming an assistant coach. Her time with the club dates back to the origins of the franchise, when she was a goalkeeper for Jersey Sky Blue of the USL W-League. Collegiately, she was a three-time Big East Goalkeeper of the Year at Villanova University before being drafted by Saint Louis Athletica in the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) College Draft. The following season, she was signed by the Chicago Red Stars as their starting goalkeeper, compiling a 1.17 GAA (Goals Against Average) before bettering that number with a 1.13 GAA the next year for magicJack SC.
In international play, Loyden worked her way onto the U.S. Women’s National Team (U.S. WNT) scene in 2010, earning her first cap on October 1st of that year when she backstopped her team to a 2-1 victory over China. The following year, she earned a spot on the U.S. WNT roster for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and she served as an alternate in London for the Gold Medal winning U.S. WNT side at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Loyden joined Sky Blue FC in 2012 as part of the U.S. WNT allocation and spent her final two years as a professional player with the New Jersey club. Over that pair of seasons, she registered a cumulative 8-7-6 record over 21 starts with five shutouts and 115 saves.
“I am really excited to join this staff and be back at the place where I finished my career,” Loyden stated. “I look forward to helping Sky Blue FC seek a second championship. I am excited to add to the goalkeeping environment and to really raise the level by giving back to our next generation of goalkeepers. It will be great to reunite with some of my old teammates such as Christie Rampone, and collaborating with her is something I truly value. I really want to do everything I can to help the organization do well while also raising awareness for women’s soccer in this area. New Jersey deserves a great soccer team, and I look forward to being able to add to that dynamic.”
Loyden is also the owner and operator of The Keeper Institute (TKI) in Sewell, N.J., which is an all-encompassing training school that aims to educate young aspiring goalkeepers in every component of the game. Additionally, she founded the Jillian Loyden Foundation in 2012, which was established with a mission to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people by empowering them and helping them find value in themselves. The JL Foundation hosts an annual “Break the Silence” Gala each year, conducted to raise awareness and empower people to help victims of domestic violence.
“We are delighted to add such incredible coaches, and great individuals, to our staff,” said Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager. “Ever since Christy Holly was appointed head coach of our club, he immediately indicated Paul and Jill as top targets to join his technical staff. Each brings their own unique perspective to the table, and we are excited for what the future holds as they lead Sky Blue FC onto the field this season.”
2016 season tickets for Sky Blue FC are now on sale! Season ticket packages start as low as $130 and can be purchased online today. For any questions regarding season tickets, call the Sky Blue FC tickets department at 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849), and a team representative will be happy to assist you.
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