Sky Blue FC Makes Head Coaching Change

Stainton assumes the role of Sky Blue FC head coach (Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).

Rick Stainton Takes Over as Sky Blue FC Head Coach

Somerset, N.J. (Monday, July 19, 2010) – Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that Pauliina Miettinen and assistant coach Anne Parnila have been relieved of their coaching duties with the team. Additionally, Sky Blue FC announced that assistant coach Rick Stainton has been promoted to the position of head coach.

“We respect Pauliina a great deal and appreciate the effort she put forth for our organization,” Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone stated. “Her hard work and passion for the team and the game were never in question. Sometimes, a situation simply does not work out. That is part of the learning process involved when it comes to professional sports. We have to be resilient, as well as continue to adapt and grow.”

Miettinen was hired prior to the 2010 season after the team won the inaugural WPS Championship in 2009. A pivotal player in that championship run was team captain Christie Rampone, who finished last season as the team’s player/coach.

“I have 100% trust going forward,” Rampone said. “It’s a new season, with 10 games and a playoff run left to go.”

Stainton, a USSF “B” License holder, brings to Sky Blue FC a bit of local flavor with coaching experience at various levels within New Jersey. After finishing up a collegiate career at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, he served as a coach for the boy’s team at Brick Memorial (NJ) High School for five seasons before returning to his alma mater to become the head coach of the women’s soccer program. His next two stops were as head coach of the women’s team at Caldwell (NJ) College and as an assistant at Rider (NJ) University. The Garden State native also served as the goalkeeper coach for the New Jersey Wildcats of the USL W-League in 2009, where he groomed current Philadelphia Independence netminder Robyn Jones. Additionally, Stainton currently holds an NSCAA Premier Diploma and NSCAA National Goalkeeper Diploma.

“This is an opportunity that I truly look forward to embracing,” Stainton remarked. “I am extremely humbled and appreciative of the trust that the organization is showing in me to complete the task at hand. In talking with the team, they have shown a sincere confidence in the direction in which we are going and our ability to be successful. Together, I know we can achieve great things going forward, both on and off the field.”

Immediately prior to joining the Sky Blue FC coaching staff, Stainton served as the administrator of the women’s soccer program at Seton Hall University alongside head coach Kazbek Tambi, who is also the current head coach of the U-17 U.S. Women’s National Team.

Stainton will man the Sky Blue FC bench for the first time this Saturday when the team heads south for a road pairing with the Philadelphia Independence at West Chester University. Kickoff for that game is 6:00 p.m. The team returns home Yurcak Field on Sunday, August 1st, when it hosts the Chicago Red Stars at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that match are available now by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.

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