Sky Blue FC defender Kendall Fletcher won a W-League Championship with the Wildcats in 2005 (Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Team to Play Three 30-Minute Periods with New Jersey Wildcats on Saturday
With the team heading into a bye week on their 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) schedule, Sky Blue FC (0-3-1, 1 point) will play a practice game with the New Jersey Wildcats of the USL W-League on Saturday afternoon. The match, which is free of charge and open to the public, will get underway at 2:30 p.m. at the Wall Municipal Complex, located at 2700 Allaire Road in Wall Township, New Jersey.
“There are a few things that we look to gain from playing this practice game on Saturday,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “We need to keep the rhythm of having a game day on the weekend, and we also have a group of players who have not gotten into a game. This will serve as an opportunity to get those players some time, as well as giving us a chance to continue working through some things we need to work through.”
The New Jersey Wildcats played their debut season in the USL W-League in 1996 and have competed every year since. The team compiled a 41-1 regular season record from 2004-06, winning regular season titles in 2004 and 2006 while taking the W-League championship in 2005. Following the 2005 season, the Wildcats were named the USL Franchise of the Year. Four Sky Blue FC players are alumnae of the Wildcats, with those being midfielders Heather O’Reilly, Tobin Heath, Carolyn Blank and defender Kendall Fletcher. Another person who has worked with the program is assistant coach Rick Stainton, who spent the 2008 season with the club before coming on board with Sky Blue FC.
“This is a great opportunity for both of our teams,” Stainton remarked. “With this being a bye weekend for us, it gives us a chance to stay within our cycle of training and having a game on the weekend. The Wildcats present a good challenge for us. They are a very talented W-League team coming off a very successful season last year, and we are looking forward to playing them as they prepare for their upcoming season.”
The Wildcats will kick off their 2011 regular season in the USL W-League next Sunday, May 22nd, hosting the New York Magic at 4:00 p.m. at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel. For more information on the Wildcats, visit them online at www.njwildcats.com.
After three consecutive road matches, Sky Blue FC will finally return home to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 21st, to host the Atlanta Beat at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for that outing are available now by calling 888-SBFC-TIX.