Sky Blue FC announced the teams season-opening roster for the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) campaign. The players will take the field in the team’s season opening game versus the Western New York Flash on Sunday, April 14th at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ.
The New Jersey based team begins the 2013 campaign with great experience at both the coaching and training level as well as the players on the pitch. While Sky Blue may not have flash and sparkle of other rosters in the new NWSL league, they have a strong group of hard working professionals across the board of its roster. I view them in many ways like the lunch pail teams of the 1980’s NFL Giants teams, and we know what happened there; two Super Bowl Championships.
This team has a genuine core of little ballyhooed but tremendously skilled players who can, and I believe will, be able to compete with the teams who carry big names like Hope Solo (Seattle), Alex Morgan (Portland) and Abby Wambach (Western NY).
Led by head coach Jim Gabarra, a former professional soccer player and Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Champion coach, and assistant coach Erwin Van Bennekom, Sky Blue FC features a deep and experienced roster, including players who have excelled on every level: NCAA, WPS, World Cup and Olympics.
The current 20-player roster includes American, Canadian and Mexican internationals per allocation by the league. A highlight is the return of United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) veteran captain and Point Pleasant, NJ native Christie Rampone, one of the most decorated players in United States history. Rampone was a crucial member and co-coach of the 2009 WPS Champion Sky Blue FC team. Additionally, Kelley O’Hara, one of only three players to play every minute of the 2012 Olympics in London, is also part of the team.
Australian internationals Lisa DeVanna and Caitlin Foord round out the roster, together with successful members of the previous pro league, the WPS, such as Sophie Schmidt (Canada) and Mónica Ocampo (Mexico) and recent college graduates from the top programs in the country. The wide experience includes Nayeli Rangel (Mexico) who played in three Under-20 World Championships.
Their first test will come this Sunday as they play their home opener against the Flash, anchored by Wambach. No doubt the focus will be on the Flash and Wambach, but the pressure will be on them as well. Sky Blue enters the game not expected to keep up with the Flash, but them again the Giants weren’t supposed to beat New England two Super Bowls before either. New Jersey is a scrappy state who don’t pay attention the fact that we are the butt of most jokes and are not expected to be anything more than those jokes. I think we have the perfect team for New Jersey, a scrappy group of better than average talent with a determination to be a champion ignorant of the fact they aren’t one of the flashy and sparkly teams.
For tickets to the Sky Blue FC season opener or any home game, fans can call 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849) or go to www.skybluesoccer.com.
2013 SKY BLUE FC ROSTER
|9||Danesha Adams||FWD||5’6”||6/6/1986||West Covina, CA||UCLA|
|20||Ashley Baker||GK||5’10”||3/15/1990||Lilburn, GA||Georgia|
|10||Brittany Bock||MID||5’7”||4/11/1987||Naperville, IL||Notre Dame|
|13||Melanie Booth||DEF||5’9”||8/24/1984||Burlington, Ontario, Canada||Florida|
|1||Brittany Cameron||GK||5’8”||12/3/1986||Dublin, CA||San Diego|
|11||Lisa De Vanna||FWD||5’2”||11/14/1984||Perth, Australia||—–|
|4||Caitlin Foord||DEF||5’5”||11/11/1994||Lake Illawarra, Australia||—–|
|23||Katy Freels (Frierson)||MID||5’6”||4/8/1990||Homewood, AL||Auburn|
|2||CoCo Goodson||DEF||5’11”||6/19/1990||Ramona, CA||UC Irvine|
|5||Kendall Johnson||DEF||5’5”||4/24/1991||Portland, OR||Portland|
|18||Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall||DEF||5’10”||10/18/1990||Park City, UT||BYU|
|21||Jill Loyden||GK||5’10”||6/25/1985||Vineland, NJ||Villanova|
|6||Taylor Lytle||MID||5’2”||3/31/1989||Las Cruces, NM||Texas Tech|
|22||Manya Makoski||MID||5’4”||4/18/1984||Trumbull, CT||Arizona State|
|8||Monica Ocampo||FWD||5’1”||1/4/1987||Tehuixtla Morelos, Mexico||—–|
|19||Kelley O’Hara||FWD||5’5”||8/4/1988||Fayetteville, GA||Stanford|
|3||Christie Rampone||DEF||5’6”||6/24/1975||Manasquan, NJ||Monmouth|
|7||Nayeli Rangel||MID||5’7”||2/28/1992||Guadalupe, Monterrey, Mexico||—–|
|16||Sophie Schmidt||MID||5’7”||6/28/1988||Abbotsford, BC, Canada||Portland|
|25||Madeleine Thompson||DEF||5’8”||4/24/1991||Corvallis, OR||Stanford|