Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen looks for three points in Atlanta (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Team Plays the Atlanta Beat in Sunday Road Match on Fox Soccer Channel
Somerset, N.J. (Thursday, May 6, 2010) – Sky Blue FC (2-2-0, 6 points) will head south this weekend, with the team playing the expansion Atlanta Beat (0-3-1, 1 point) at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. The match, which will air live on Fox Soccer Channel, will be the inaugural game to ever be played at Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).
“Facing an opponent in its stadium opening game shouldn’t change the way we approach this game,” Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen stated. “However, I do think we should be excited about it. This is good for the women’s game, and it is good for us a team to receive the honor of opening a new stadium.”
Sky Blue FC made headlines this past week when it announced the first trade of the WPS season. Versatile playmaker India Trotter and Saint Louis Athletica’s first round pick in the 2011 Draft went to New Jersey, while Saint Louis Athletica acquired English National Team defender Anita Asante and the rights to forward Nikki Washington.
“India is a great person and great player,” Miettinen said. “She is very athletic and knows our system already. She will be a valuable tool for us as early as this weekend’s game.”
While Trotter looks to make some noise in the Sky Blue FC attack, it will be goalkeeper Karen Bardsley who will be focused on anchoring the team’s back line. On the season, Bardsley has a pair of shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average.
“One of Karen’s greatest attributes is her aggressiveness,” Sky Blue FC goalkeeper coach Rick Stainton commented. “She isn’t fearful; she goes right at it and has a willingness to compete for every challenge. When you add that to her tremendous size and catching ability, she is a dangerous threat for us.”
At no point was her aggressiveness more evident than in a 38th minute save of a penalty kick this past Saturday against FC Gold Pride’s Camile Abily, when Bardsley dove left to stop the attempt and immediately turned away a rebound shot from Marta. That type of confidence is something that has energized Sky Blue FC throughout the season, and the team looks to continue building on that momentum this Sunday in Atlanta.
Sky Blue FC returns home to Yurcak Field in four weeks when it hosts the Boston Breakers on Saturday, May 29th, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that game can be purchased now by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX or visiting www.SkyBlueFC.com.