Stainton: Catching Up and Moving Forward

Stainton speaks with forward Tasha Kai at a 2010 match (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
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In this post with us, Sky Blue FC Assistant Coach Rick Stainton talks about the conclusion of the team's 2010 season, and he also takes a glimpse at what the future holds as new developments are made with the organization.

It’s been about a month since I last wrote, and a lot has happened since then. Unfortunately, Sky Blue FC did not qualify for the playoffs this year to defend what they rightfully earned in 2009, the inaugural WPS Championship. We made it a race to the very end but fell just short, finishing the final five, 1-1-3. One more positive result in any of the final games could have possibly changed our fortune.

It’s always easy to look back and say… ”Well, if we came out of Washington with a win (we led 1-0, then conceded 2 goals in the final 11 minutes), or if one of those draws could have been a win, our situation would have been different.” Being “in the moment” has taught me a lot and hopefully will make me a better coach.

Let it be known that our team showed tremendous character and strength throughout the season. When we approached the end, the team battled and put their best effort forth consistently. We showed continuous improvement and never quit. That is what I am most proud of.

Our 2011 season has started with welcoming Jim Gabarra to Sky Blue FC as Head Coach and Technical Director. Jim joins us with a wealth of experience and success as a coach and ambassador to women’s soccer. I look forward to the opportunity of working with Jim in making our 2011 season a great success. Please join me in welcoming him to Sky Blue FC. Our offseason has begun. I have currently been working with Jim in preparing to solidify our team through avenues such as free agency and the WPS draft. We are analyzing our current roster and foundation, identifying our needs, and pursuing players who fit. It is an exciting time.

My offseason thus far has included the opportunity to work with Karen Bardsley in preparing her return from injury. She was selected to travel and compete with the England Women’s National Team in Korea these upcoming weeks. It will be her first action since returning from injury that kept her out from the WPS season since the All-Star break. Karen is looking fit, agile, and confident. She is in form and ready to compete. Let’s wish her all the best!

Go Sky Blue!
All the best,
Rick Stainton

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