Sky Blue FC will play an 18-game schedule in 2011 (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Sky Blue FC Opens Season on April 10th at Yurcak Field
The 2011 schedule for Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) was officially unveiled on Thursday morning, with each member club playing an 18-game split of home and away matches. The season will run from April until August with an 18-day break for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Sky Blue FC is now set to kick off its season on Sunday, April 10th, when it hosts the Philadelphia Independence at 6:00 p.m.
“As a coaching staff, it’s always great to see your schedule so you can start to plan things out and break it all down,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra remarked. “From a competitive side, especially with the World Cup, it’s going to be a challenge, but we have prepared for the absence of particular players.”
Certain stress can come from the official release of a league schedule, and Gabarra says that is something he almost expects with each approaching season.
“It always makes a coach panic a little bit when the schedule comes out because it means everything is right around the corner,” he admitted. “This really solidifies the fact that the players will soon be arriving, and we have to finish getting ready. You always worry if there is enough time to get everything done, but I feel we are right on schedule with our preparation.”
On the season, Sky Blue FC will play each of its nine home contests at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, hosting two of four televised matches on Fox Soccer Channel. After a two-game split in April, the team will play a four-match split in May, two home and one away in June, four home and two away in July, followed up with three road contests in August. The final home match of the regular season for Sky Blue FC will occur on Saturday, July 30th, when it hosts the Western New York Flash at 7:00 p.m.
“By having the schedule in hand, we know the season is quickly approaching,” assistant coach Rick Stainton said. “We are now able to prepare in our approach to each game because this gives us the map to create our plan. Next, we go full tilt with our approach to make sure we are ready when we open preseason camp on March 1st.”
General Manager Gioia DiFlumeri was also pleased to have the logistics of scheduling confirmed so the team could move on with its preparation for the season.
“It is gratifying when the schedule gets finalized because it means that we are now able to plan out our strategy for the year,” she commented. “The season is officially on the horizon, and we are focusing our efforts as an organization on making sure that we create the best possible environment for our fans at each of our home games. We look forward to what the season holds for us, and we hope the great fans of our team do as well.”
Sky Blue FC currently has season tickets on sale for the upcoming season of play, with packages starting as low as $99. From now until next Monday, a Presidents Day Special is being run for anyone who purchases season tickets, with each account receiving a commemorative photo of the team at the White House last year with President Obama (autographed while supplies last). Individual tickets for the April 10th opener are also on sale, and fans can click here to purchase now.
For more information on Sky Blue FC ticket options, call 888-SBFC-TIX. Click here for the full schedule.