Sky Blue FC has out-scored the opposition, 5-1, over its past two games (Photo by Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
Team Heads to Western New York for Friday Pairing
Currently riding a two-match winning streak, Sky Blue FC (2-3-1, 7 points) will return to action on Friday evening when it plays a road contest against the first place Western New York Flash (6-0-1, 19 points) at 7:30 p.m. The Flash is the lone unbeaten club remaining in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) this season, and Sky Blue FC will look to avenge an earlier 3-1 defeat that occurred in Western New York at the beginning of May.
“The Flash is a potent attacking team. They have a lot of quality attacking players,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra said of Western New York. “Obviously, Marta is a real focus, but Christine Sinclair has proven that she is one of the top forwards in the world. Caroline Seger has also come in there and given some good performances. They are a good team, a real deep team, and we have to be focused on how we play.”
While the first pairing of these two teams resulted in a two-goal differential in favor of the Flash, Gabarra feels that his side showed some promising play that did not necessarily deserve that particular result.
“I think we are a good match-up for them. We are going to focus on defending and staying compact, and, attacking-wise, we have to keep the ball,” he stated. “I thought we played well last time in the second half. Outside of three pretty bad mistakes that gave up three goals, I thought we took the play to them in the second half, and we will have to capitalize on that type of effort as we look to get the result we want on Friday.”
The tone of training has seemed a bit more intensified this week in lieu of facing the unbeaten Flash, and assistant coach Rick Stainton hopes to see that translated onto the field on Friday evening.
“I think we had a good week of training and preparation for this match,” he remarked. “Something we have been doing pretty well is focusing on ourselves and what we need to do in terms of the way we attack and defend. We know we are going against some world class strikers, but they also have strength throughout the midfield and on the defensive end. However, we definitely learned from our first experience against them, and we expect to play a much better game this time.”
Following this Friday road pairing, Sky Blue FC will return home to Yurcak Field on Sunday, June 12th, to host the Boston Breakers. Kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m.