Panico looks to be a huge offensive threat for the defending WPS Champions.
Panico Has Tallied 80 International Goals in 145 Appearances
Somerset, N.J. (Wednesday, June 2, 2010) – Sky Blue FC officially announced today that the team has come to terms with Italian National Team captain Patrizia “il Bomber” Panico, who has scored 80 goals in 145 international appearances. Panico is also a nine-time Serie A goal scoring champion, registering over 400 total goals while playing in her native country.
“Perhaps nothing is a greater indication of how well you can know a player as a coach than having played against her as a player,” stated Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen, who played against Panico during her time with the Finnish National Team. “I can personally testify that Patrizia is as tough, tenacious, skilled and successful as they come. It was great to face her in my days playing for Finland, and it will be a special opportunity to coach her as part of our team. I am excited to see her in a Sky Blue FC uniform!”
Panico is one of the top pure goal scorers in international soccer, and she did not take long to establish herself as an offensive threat on the international scene. In the first match she ever played for Italy against Portugal in 1996, she needed just five minutes to record her first national team goal. The Rome native recently finished up the 2009-10 Serie A season with Sassari Torres and has enjoyed a high level of success for the entirety of her 14-year professional career. She has been a member of six Italian League championship sides, in addition seeing her team win four Italian Cups and four Italian Super Cups. In 25 UEFA Champions League games, Panico has tallied 19 goals while scoring 42 total goals in 64 matches of official UEFA competition.
“Patrizia brings a special combination of qualities to Sky Blue FC - experience, a proven record in the international arena and a great force for us up front,” General Manager Gerry Marrone commented. “She is an exciting player and someone we have been looking at for a long time. In addition, she will be a great draw for the large and passionate community of Italian soccer fans in our area.”
When she is playing in Italy, Panico plays with the #9 on her jersey, but she will wear #96 while she is suited up for Sky Blue FC. Behind that decision comes a rather poetic explanation.
"I always play with 9, but going across the world to play with major players, it's better to have two 9s with one of them flipped upside down,” she explained. “To do well on the other side of the world in America, one needs to do a salto mortale (somersault)."
This philosophy is derived from an expression in the Italian language which means ‘if something is difficult, one needs to do a somersault (jump over one's head) to get it done.’ More directly, an extra effort is needed to accomplish a goal.
Panico is the first Italian player in Women’s Professional Soccer history, raising the total number to 20 nations that are represented in the league.