Christie Rampone and Sky Blue FC look to capture some of the magic that guided them to the championship in 2009 (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Critical Three Points on the Line in Key Match-up
Somerset, N.J. (Saturday, August 15, 2010) – Sky Blue FC (6-9-4, 22 points) heads into a critical match-up with the Philadelphia Independence (10-6-4, 34 points) on Sunday, hosting its Northeastern rival at 4:00 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway. With only a handful of games left on the 2010 regular season slate, Sky Blue FC enters this match in a late-season battle for a playoff berth.
“Every point is vital, and we are certainly aware of that,” Sky Blue FC head coach Rick Stainton commented after training today. “Our approach is to take it one game at a time, and we’re not looking too far ahead. We know how valuable these three points are as we make a push for a berth to the playoffs.”
Including Sunday’s pairing with Philadelphia, Sky Blue FC only has five games remaining on its schedule. The team currently sits three points behind the Washington Freedom (6-8-7, 25 points) for the fourth and final seed to advance to the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Playoffs, but Sky Blue FC also has two matches in hand on Washington.
“One of the main messages that we try to get through to the team is that we must believe,” Stainton remarked. “We have to be confident and trustworthy of one another that we can achieve the task at hand. As a staff, we are very confident in each player on our team, and we know that we have quality all over the field. It is very important for our players to have faith in each other’s ability, and that is what will contribute heavily to our being successful.”
The Independence currently owns a three-game winning streak over Sky Blue FC this season, and Stainton feels that a win could provide the spark that the team seeks in order to trigger a late run for the postseason.
“Being able to get the three points from Philadelphia would be a huge confidence boost for our team,” he stated. “Without a doubt, Philadelphia has a great team, and being able to defeat a team of their caliber is something that would drive home the belief that we can be successful. We must capitalize on our opportunities as they are presented to us, and that will be the difference as we look to get the result on Sunday.”
The action with the Independence gets underway at 4:00 p.m., and fans outside of the region can view the game live via the Comcast Sports Network. On the call for the game will be veteran soccer commentator Sean Wheelock and Rutgers University head women’s soccer coach Glenn Crooks.
Tickets for the match are available now, and fans can pick them up by calling 1-888-SBFC-TIX.
Sky Blue FC is also an active participant in the Donate Your Gear program to benefit the Schools of Niger, Africa, and the team invites fans to join them in the worthy cause by donating new or gently used items at any of its remaining home games. Among the items which fans are encouraged to bring include clothing, cleats, balls, equipment, coaches' gear and water bottles. Drop boxes will be positioned at the entrance to Yurcak Field for those who wish to contribute.