Parker (left) and Burke will join Sky Blue FC in Boston.
Team Heads to Boston for Critical Match with Breakers on Sunday
Somerset, N.J. (Saturday, August 14, 2010) – With a huge road match against the Boston Breakers (7-6-5, 26 points) on tap for Sunday, Sky Blue FC (6-8-4, 22 points) has made official a pair of player signings. Returning to the team this weekend will be 2009 Sky Blue FC midfielder Kelly Parker, while the team also announced that former Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Meghann Burke has been added to the roster.
Both Parker and Burke will be making the trip to Boston with the team on Sunday. Parker, who is a native of Canada and graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, returns to the team after starting 12 of 17 games in 2009. She most recently completed the 2010 USL W-League season with the Buffalo Flash, helping her team to the league championship. Parker registered 27 points on 11 goals and five assists for Buffalo, playing in just seven games, and she was named the W-League Most Valuable Player. 2010 marked the second time she had received the league honor (Ottawa Fury, 2004), and the Saskatchewan native is the only player in league history to win MVP accolades twice.
“Kelly is obviously a player who has a lot championship experience on her resume, being with us last year and just winning the W-League Championship,” Sky Blue FC head coach Rick Stainton remarked. “She’s an extremely versatile player who we can plug in just about anywhere on the field. Game situations will require us to make some quick adjustments, and Kelly will give us the option to move some players around. On top of her other qualities, she also has an incredible work rate.”
Burke comes to the team after starting the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season with the Chicago Red Stars. After a stellar college career at Saint Louis University, the Missouri native began her professional career by playing a year for the Carolina Courage of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). After making a few stops in the W-League, Burke signed with Bristol Rivers of the English Premier League in 2004 before spending a pair of seasons with River Cities FC of the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL). Before heading to Chicago this spring, she had most recently played with the Boston Renegades of the W-League.
“We are able to bring in another experienced goalkeeper with Meghann Burke, one who has valuable experience with the WUSA,” Stainton commented. “Meghann has a great personality to go with her great soccer mind and technique, and she will definitely be an asset for this team.”
Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone also voiced his approval regarding the two signings.
“I am happy to round out our roster with the addition of both Kelly and Meghann,” he stated. “We arguably have some of the greatest goalkeeping in the league, and our keepers are in good company with Meghann. And what better way to honor our tradition than to acquire Kelly once again, who was a major part of our 2009 Championship season.”
As far as Sunday is concerned, this match will be the third meeting of the season between the Breakers and Sky Blue FC. The first pairing was played at Yurcak Field and finished as a scoreless draw, while the second match was won in dramatic fashion by Sky Blue FC in Boston. After the two sides took a 1-1 stalemate into stoppage time, a late whistle in the box led to a game-winning penalty kick conversion from Rosana.
“Going into Boston, I’d be naïve to think the players aren’t aware of where we sit with the points, but we haven’t been putting any emphasis on that as a staff,” Stainton said. “Our main focus is about us and improving as one unit with the purpose of achieving good things. We firmly believe that if we concentrate on getting ourselves to our own highest level of play, it will put us in the position we deserve to be.”
With only six matches left in the regular season, Stainton also spoke of the significance that this game will have on the WPS Standings.
“Every single point is important, and we are going into Boston with hopes of gaining the three points,” Stainton continued. “This is a huge game for us because it can close the gap from the top a bit and also give us some separation from the teams below us in the standings.”
Fans unable to make it to Boston on Sunday will be able to catch the action live on Fox Soccer Channel, and kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. Sky Blue FC will next return to Yurcak Field on Sunday, August 22nd, to play its regional rival, the Philadelphia Independence. Tickets for that game are on sale now by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.