Brittany Taylor (left) and Laura Kalmari are two players returning to Sky Blue FC in 2011 (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Team Begins Preparation for April 10th Home Opener at Yurcak Field
Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) officially opened its 2011 preseason on Tuesday, conducting team meetings and preliminary physical testing. Tomorrow marks the first full training session for the club, which will host the Philadelphia Independence in its 2011 home opener on Sunday, April 10th.
“It is exciting to have the players here and to be able to interact with them,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “However, getting started in the meeting room is one thing, but getting started on the field is what is most enjoyable. It will be great to see everyone on the field so we can start working towards our goals for the season.”
The fresh start that comes with the opening of preseason sends a wave of enthusiasm throughout a team, and Gabarra touched on what a common sentiment is for clubs when camp begins.
“Everybody has the same goal, and it is like having a clean slate,” he said. “Each season brings with the excitement of knowing you have something to work towards. It is a great process and journey, and we are anxious to get started.”
Assistant coach Rick Stainton also voiced his pleasure in seeing the preseason get underway.
“My immediate gut instinct is that it’s ‘go time’ now,” he remarked. “It is very exciting to see all of the players return to market with their enthusiasm for the new season. This group has the ability to set goals, as well as the ambition to fulfill them. To see the enthusiasm in their eyes and angst to get out there and get it is very exhilarating for us. We look forward to a very successful 2011 season.”
Without question, 2011 is a year of major importance for the league and the game of women’s soccer, especially with the FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place this summer in Germany. Sky Blue FC President Thomas Hofstetter commented on its significance, as well as what he sees happening this season with the team.
“We are going into the third season, which is an important milestone for WPS,” he confirmed. “We expect that a lot of fans are coming out to support us this year. I believe we improved our team in all positions, and we will be one of the top teams in the league."
Just 11 days remain until Sky Blue FC heads overseas to Turkey, where it will participate in the International Women’s Tournament of Champions in Antalya from March 12-20th. During the trip, the team will play in a four-team competition with Damallsvenskan side LdB FC Malmö, FK Energiya of Russia and Danish club Fortuna Hjørring.
Sky Blue FC will officially open its 2011 season on Sunday, April 10th, when it hosts the Philadelphia Independence at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway. Kickoff for the match is 6:00 p.m., and the game will also be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel. In addition to individual tickets, season tickets are also currently on sale, with packages starting as low as $99.
For more information on Sky Blue FC ticket options, call 888-SBFC-TIX.
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