Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC
Full name Sky Blue FC
Nickname(s) SBFC, Beez
Founded 2007
Stadium Yurcak Field
Rutgers University
Ground Capacity 5,000+
Owner Philip D. Murphy
Steven H. Temares
Thomas Hofstetter
President/CEO Thomas Hofstetter
Head coach Christy Holly
League National Women's Soccer League
Website Club home page

Sky Blue FC is a professional soccer club based in Piscataway Township, New Jersey, which has participated in the National Women's Soccer League since 2013. From 2009 to 2011, the team played in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).

Sky Blue FC is part of the larger Sky Blue Soccer organization, based in Somerset County, New Jersey, an integrated program that allows players to progress in soccer from a young age with an opportunity for long-term growth.


Establishment, 2008

Sky Blue FC named Ian Sawyers as its first head coach and general manager on March 5, 2008. However, it wasn't until September 9, 2008 that the New York/New Jersey outfit was officially unveiled under the name Sky Blue FC. One week later, the US Women's National Team allocation took place with Heather O'Reilly, Natasha Kai, and Christie Rampone allocated to Sky Blue FC.[1]

On September 24, the 2008 WPS International Draft was held. Sky Blue FC drafted Australian National Team forward Sarah Walsh in the first round, Brazilian National Team members Rosana and Ester in the second and third rounds respectively, finished with Canadian National Team midfielder Kelly Parker in the fourth round.[2] In addition to these picks, Sky Blue FC also named Australian National Team midfielder Collette McCallum and England National Team defender Anita Asante as post-draft discovery players on September 26, 2008 and October 2, 2008 respectively, and were awarded their WPS playing rights.

To further assign player rights, on October 6 the 2008 WPS General Draft took place. Sky Blue FC drafted Cori Alexander, Keeley Dowling, Kacey White, and Jenny Hammond.[3] Ian Sawyers closed out 2008 by choosing Kelly Lindsey to be his assistant coach on December 3.

The new year brought new players. On January 16, the 2009 WPS Draft was held. Sky Blue FC drafted Yael Averbuch, Meghan Schnur, Karen Bardsley, Christie Shaner, Julianne Sitch, Jen Buczkowski, Zhang Ouying, Mary Therese McDonnell, Mele French, and Fanta Cooper.[4]

Inaugural WPS season, 2009

Sky Blue FC kicked off its inaugural season on April 5, 2009 dropping a 2–0 decision to Los Angeles Sol at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. It played its next game at the venue before moving permanently to Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University.

Sky Blue FC battle in St. Louis during the 2009 postseason

The team stuttered to one win and two draws in their first six games, scoring only 3 goals in the process, before head coach and general manager Ian Sawyers was suspended indefinitely by the team for disagreements on May 23, 2009. He was eventually relieved of his duties as head coach and general manager on May 28, 2009. In his absence, Kelly Lindsey stepped in as the interim and slowly started to turn around Sky Blue FC's on-field fortunes. She was eventually permanently installed as head coach on June 19, 2009 by then General Manager Gerry Marrone.

Lindsey's time at the helm was short-lived as she abruptly resigned from her position on July 30, 2009. She had won five games and drawn three others in her twelve total matches before Christie Rampone was named the second interim of the year and third head coach overall by Marrone. Her position also included playing on the field and was the first player/manager in WPS history. Rampone lead Sky Blue FC into 4th position and secured the final playoff spot for the 2009 playoffs. Sky Blue FC upended both Washington Freedom and Saint Louis Athletica to make the championship game against Los Angeles Sol. A 16th minute Heather O'Reilly strike earned Sky Blue FC the championship on August 22, 2009, beating the Sol on their own home field of The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

2010 season

With two additional teams, Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence, joining the league for 2010, Sky Blue FC were destined to lose players from their championship-winning side. On September 15, the 2009 WPS Expansion Draft was held with Jen Buczkowski moving to Philadelphia and Noelle Keselica headed to Atlanta.

Sky Blue FC announced on September 29, 2009 that former Finnish National Team player Pauliina Miettinen would be head coach of the team for the 2010 season after completing her coaching duties with PK-35 Vantaa.

Sky Blue FC started its title defense on April 11, 2012 when it hosted the Chicago Red Stars at Yurcak Field. The team wasted little time in gaining its first goal on the young season, with forward Tasha Kai scoring on a fourth-minute strike to lead her team to an eventual 1–0 victory. Sky Blue FC found itself having some trouble tallying goals as the season progressed and held a 5–6–3 record when head coach Pauliina Miettinen was relieved of her duties. Immediately replacing her was assistant coach Rick Stainton, who led the team to a 2–4–4 record the rest of the way. After settling for three draws to conclude its sophomore campaign, Sky Blue FC finished the year in fifth place in the regular season standings and just missed the postseason.

2011 season

The 2011 season marked the first at the helm by decorated women's soccer coach Jim Gabarra, who had spent the past decade with the Washington Freedom. Prior to the start of the regular season, Sky Blue FC headed to Turkey for the preseason, playing to the finals of the Alanya International Women's Tournament of Champions, where it fell to team partner LdB FC Malmö, 1–0. Also participating in the tournament were Russian side FK Energiya and Danish club Fortuna Hjørring (who Sky Blue FC defeated in a penalty shootout in the semifinals).

Sky Blue FC kicked off the WPS regular season on April 10, 2011 at Yurcak Field, playing the Philadelphia Independence to a 2–2 draw. The team then hit the road for three games, suffering three consecutive defeats, before returning home for a pair of wins. After two more draws and another victory, Sky Blue FC found itself amid the longest unbeaten streak in franchise history (five matches). The team kicked off that streak on May 21, 2011 with a 3–0 win over the Atlanta Beat, its largest margin of victory ever.

The club went 1–2 in its next three games before entering the final four matches of the regular season. After suffering defeats in each of those games, Sky Blue FC came up just short of the playoffs after finishing even with the Boston Breakers for the final postseason spot (Boston took the season tiebreaker).

After the WPS announced the suspension of the 2012 season, Sky Blue FC announced a partnership with the New Jersey Wildcats of the W-League, which included sharing coaching staff.

Inaugural NWSL season, 2013

In November 2012, it was announced that Sky Blue FC would be one of eight teams in a new women's professional soccer league sponsored by the United States Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Mexican Football Federation.[5] The league, known as the National Women's Soccer League, began play in spring 2013.


Year League Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance
2009 WPS 4th Place Champions 3,651
2010 WPS 5th Place Did not qualify 3,320
2011 WPS 5th Place Did not qualify 2,033
2012 On Hiatus
2013 NWSL 4th Place Semi-Finals 1,664
2014 NWSL 6th Place Did not qualify 1,640
2015 NWSL 8th Place Did not qualify 2,189
2016 NWSL 7th Place Did not qualify 2,162

2016 season

Sky Blue FC opened its 2016 season at Seattle Reign in thrilling fashion on Sunday, April 17, 2016, winning 2–1 and handing two-time defending NWSL Shield winner its first-ever home loss at Memorial Stadium. The Reign were unbeaten at Memorial Stadium over the previous two seasons[6] Sky Blue FC started six (6) players who had never logged a single NWSL minute before that night.[7] By the end of the season they had racked up with 26 points in 7th place. Playing 20 games this season they ended up with 7 wins 8 losses 5 and ties. They scored 24 goals and had 30 against them. [8]


Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 United States MF Shawna Gordon
3 United States DF Christie Rampone
5 United States DF Maya Hayes
6 United States MF Taylor Lytle
7 United States MF Nikki Stanton
8 United States DF Erica Skroski
10 United States MF Ashley Nick
11 Costa Rica MF Raquel Rodríguez
12 United States MF Kim DeCesare
13 United States DF Kristin Grubka
15 United States DF CoCo Goodson
No. Position Player
16 United States MF Sarah Killion
18 United States GK Caroline Stanley
19 United States DF Kelley O'Hara
20 Australia FW Samantha Kerr
21 England FW Leah Galton
22 United States DF Rachel Breton
24 United States MF Kelly Conheeney
27 United States GK Caroline Casey
32 United States FW Natasha Kai
33 United States FW Erin Simon
44 United States MF Theresa Diederich

Technical Staff

Position Name
Head Coach Northern Ireland Christy Holly
Assistant/Reserve Coach Scotland Paul Greig
Assistant/Goalkeeper Coach United States Jill Loyden


Cloud 9 is the official supporters group of Sky Blue FC.[9] They sit in Section 9 of Yurcak Field, singing songs and chants through out the game.

Head coaches

Information correct as of October 3, 2016. Only competitive matches (regular season and playoffs) are counted. Wins, losses, and draws are results at the final whistle; the results of penalty shootouts are not counted.

Ian Sawyers England March 5, 2008 May 23, 2009 61233516.67
Kelly Lindsey [A] United States May 23, 2009 July 29, 2009 12534131241.67
Christie Rampone [B] United States July 30, 2009 September 29, 2009 54016480.00 WPS Champions
Pauliina Miettinen [C] Finland September 29, 2009 July 19, 2010 14536121635.71
Rick Stainton [D] United States July 19, 2010 October 7, 2010 1024481520.00
Jim Gabarra United States October 7, 2010 October 14, 2015 94292926688730.85
Christy Holly [E] Northern Ireland January 13, 2016 20758243035.00
A ^ Named head coach on May 23, 2009 after Ian Sawyers was suspended indefinitely from his duties of both Head Coach and General Manager. She was appointed permanently on June 19, 2009.[10]
B ^ Named head coach on July 30, 2009 after Kelly Lindsey resigned from her duties as head coach.[11]
C ^ Named head coach on September 29, 2009 and took charge at the end of her contract with PK-35 Vantaa.[12]
D ^ Named head coach on July 19, 2010 after Pauliina Miettinen was relieved of her duties.
E ^ Named head coach on January 13, 2016, together with Paul Greig (assistant coach) and Jillian Loyden (goalkeeper coach).


See also: NWSL stadiums

Honors and awards

Women's Professional Soccer

See also


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