Blues Add Karyn Riviere, Ella Stephan
The Pali Blues open their season at home on May 9th
Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Friday, April 3, 2009) – With opening day a little over a month away, the Pali Blues Soccer Club announced today the addition of University of Connecticut product Karyn Riviere and Florida State freshman Ella Stephan. The duo looks to make immediate contributions to the Blues, who begin their USL W-League title defense on Saturday, May 9th, against the Los Angeles Legends at the Stadium by the Sea.
"We are pleased to add another pair of great players from two fantastic college programs," Blues head coach Charlie Naimo stated. “Karyn will give us depth in our attack as she brings quality Big East experience to the table, while Ella could make an easy adjustment to our style and contribute in a holding midfield or role in the back line. We are excited to have both of these wonderful players call Pali home this season."
Riviere has spent time playing both an attacking and defending role over her soccer career, and she had four years of success while playing at UConn. She tallied a total of 44 points during the time she suited up for the Huskies, notching 16 goals and 12 assists. Following her senior season, she was named the Connecticut College Player of the Year and got the nod to the All-New England Second Team. The versatile Riviere spent the past two years playing with the New England Mutiny of the Women’s Premier Soccer League, mainly protecting the Mutiny back line over the past two seasons.
Ella Stephan, a multifaceted player, will head back to Tallahassee this fall to play her sophomore campaign at Florida State University, but she will first bring her decorated resume to the Blues. The dual role player was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team and most recently played with the U.S. U-20 National Team at the Four Nations Tournament in LaSerena, Chile. A 2007 and 2008 Parade All-American, Stephan started for six seasons at Satellite High School on the eastern coast of Florida. During her senior year, she captained her high school side to a 2007 state championship and garnered many individual accolades for her efforts. She was selected the All-Space Coast Player of the Year, NSCAA/adidas High School Player of the Year, Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner, and she was additionally named the Gatorade Player of the Year. This past fall, she started 21 contests for the Seminoles, playing the fourth most minutes on the team.
“How do you defend a National Championship?" Blues General Manager Jason Lemire asked. "You need a combination of youth and experience. Charlie is putting together another fantastic team, and we are excited to have Karyn and Ella aboard."
The USL W-League played its inaugural season in 1995, and it is recognized as the premiere development league for female players in North America. The Pali Blues Soccer Club was the winner of the 2008 W-League championship in just its first season of play, and the team will open their second season against the Los Angeles Legends at the Stadium by the Sea on Saturday, May 9th, at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased today by calling (310) 264-4649.