Wednesday Road Pairing Starts Busy July

Midfielder Allie Long was named the WPS Player of the Week for her performance in the first meeting this season with Philadelphia (Howard C. Smith, ISI Photos).
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Sky Blue FC Faces Philadelphia Independence in First of Six July Matches

Sky Blue FC (3-3-3, 12 points) will begin the second half of its Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) schedule on Wednesday evening, heading to Philadelphia for a midweek match against the hometown Independence (5-2-3, 18 points). The game kicks off a busy July for Sky Blue FC, which will play a total of six contests over the month, including its final four home matches of the 2011 season.

“This game presents a very good opportunity for our team to continue what has been a nice run,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra, whose team is currently on a franchise record five-match unbeaten streak. “We face a very talented opponent in Philadelphia, a team that has gotten consistent results both at home and on the road. They have been moving up the standings and also did not lose a lot of players to the World Cup, so it will be a big challenge for us. However, we are very much looking forward to meeting that challenge.”

This contest marks the second meeting of the season between these two clubs, with the first coming during the opening weekend of the 2011 slate. In that game, Sky Blue FC raced to a 2-0 halftime advantage before the Independence fought back to equalize in stoppage time.

“Philadelphia is a team that is not only talented, but also very organized and structured,” assistant coach Rick Stainton commented. “On our end of things, we have producing a threatening attack. Our midfield has also been able to control the game, which has been one of our greatest strengths all season. When you look at some of our past results, you will also see that (goalkeeper) Jenni Branam and our defense have been able to keep the ball out of the net. In this match, two teams on the uprise are competing for three valuable points, and we feel that we are prepared to take those three points.”

Following this midweek match-up in Philadelphia, Sky Blue FC returns home to Yurcak Field this Saturday, July 9th, to host magicJack SC at 7:00 p.m.

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