Antalya is located on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey.
Team Also Schedules Open Tryouts for March 6-7th
A major development has been finalized between Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) related to its affiliation agreement with Damallsvenskan side LdB FC Malmö, with the club announcing on Tuesday that it will spend nine days of the preseason in Turkey. In addition to LdB FC Malmö, Sky Blue FC will be joining Russian side FK Energiya and Danish club Fortuna Hjørring for a four team tournament that will commence while the team is on location.
“Whenever planning a preseason, it is good for team building to get away for a week to 10 days,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “Traditionally, teams travel down to Florida and play college teams or other WPS teams. However, we were presented with this really unique and exciting opportunity to go to Turkey and play in a tournament against champions from other countries. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing these teams, as well as the great experiences we will share as a team.”
Clearly a rare and energizing opportunity, Gabarra went on to speak about how the trip will help unify the team.
“This is something that does not happen very often, getting to play against other top quality clubs from different parts of the world,” he continued. “We have a lot of work to do to get us ready for our WPS season, and this time away from home will truly give us the chance to come together as a team. It will be a busy time for us, but it looks like a great place and everything looks top quality. This will be great preparation for us going into the season.”
The host city of the tournament and preseason training camp is Antalya, which is located on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. Sky Blue FC will head over to its destination on March 12th and fly back to the United States on the 21st. The dates that the team will compete in the tournament are March 17th and 19th, with an exhibition against FK Energiya planned for the 15th.
“The opportunity to travel to Turkey will provide us with bonding experiences both on and off the field, and those type of experiences are what unifies a team,” assistant coach Rick Stainton commented. “We get to spend time together, learn a different culture and play against some great competition. All of those intangibles will influence our character and how we perform on the field. Competing against teams from other lands is also something that will be beneficial for us, and we are very fortunate to be presented with this opportunity.”
Sky Blue FC General Manager Gioia DiFlumeri also voiced her pleasure with the development.
“This trip to Turkey shows that our affiliation with LdB FC Malmö is strong, and it also proves WPS is making an international footprint within the game of women’s soccer,” she said. “Without question, we will be an energized team upon our return and look to show that to our fans when we play our home opener on April 10th.”
In addition to the team revealing its preseason plans, Sky Blue FC also announced the dates of its single series of 2011 open tryouts. The team will host two days of double sessions on March 6-7th, with preseason camp set to open on March 9th. Location of the trials are currently being finalized, and the announcement of the facility will be made by Sky Blue FC this week. All other details concerning the tryouts will also be given when the location is revealed.
Sky Blue FC currently has season tickets on sale for the upcoming season of play, with packages starting as low as $99. The team is also temporarily offering a flex ticket special which offers fans two free game vouchers with the purchase of a full set of 10. Flex plans give fans the flexibility of using their game vouchers however they please, all while receiving the same benefits of being a season ticket holder. For more information on Sky Blue FC ticket options, visit www.SkyBlueFC.com or call 888-SBFC-TIX.