Sky Blue FC looks to remain unbeaten in Sunday games (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Regional Rivalry Kicks into Swing Between Sky Blue FC and Independence
Somerset, N.J. (Saturday, June 5, 2010) – Sky Blue FC will meet its newest regional rival for the first time this Sunday evening when the team squares off with the Philadelphia Independence at West Chester University. With both sides currently holding identical 3-2-2 records, positioning in the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Standings will be on the line when the two teams kick off at 6:00 p.m.
“Philadelphia has had a great start to the season, and it is a team that we are not going to take lightly,” Sky Blue FC head coach Pauliina Miettinen said of her team’s opponent. “We are now quickly approaching the midway point of the season, and it is very important for us to set the tone on where we stand.”
A budding rivalry between these two clubs is all set to kick into session based on their close proximity, and the easy travel schedule is one that Miettinen says will help the team more easily set its sights on what is most important.
“It becomes much easier to focus on the soccer when you don’t have to worry about flights and hotels,” she stated. “When you are playing a team that is so close to you, it really helps to build up the excitement. Without question, this is a game that we have been looking forward to playing all week.”
Some news that brought with it additional excitement this week for Sky Blue FC came from the league office, when it was announced that goalkeeper Karen Bardsley had been named the WPS Player of the Month. Bardsley accumulated a 1-1-2 record in May, registering two shutouts and 31 saves in the four matches her team played.
“It’s great to see Karen get rewarded for all the hard work that she’s done,” Miettinen commented on Bardsley. “(Goalkeeper coach) Rick Stainton has done tremendous work with her, and you can clearly see the special dynamic they share in the way Karen has been playing."
Once Sunday’s game is in the books, the rivalry with the Independence looks to heat up even further in two weeks when Sky Blue FC returns to New Jersey on Saturday, June 19th, to host Philadelphia. Tickets for that game are available now by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.