Somerset, N.J. (Thursday, December 23, 2010) – Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that it has signed forward Casey Nogueira, who was a first round selection in the 2010 WPS Draft. The former North Carolina standout brings additional goal scoring talents to the New Jersey club, tallying 10 points during her 2010 rookie campaign with the Chicago Red Stars.
“Casey is one of the best attacking players currently available,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “She can turn the game with a moment of brilliance, and we are fortunate to be able to add her to our roster. I look forward to seeing her on a daily basis rather than have to find a way to defend her as an opponent."
Gabarra holds a special connection to the Nogueira family, playing professionally with her father, Victor, as a member of the San Diego Sockers in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) from 1989-1991 and the Milwaukee Wave of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) from 1992-93. The duo also won an MISL Championship together when they brought the league crown to San Diego in 1991.
When she played college soccer at the University of North Carolina, Nogueira was a member of two NCAA College Cup Championship sides in 2006 and 2008. The 2008 season was her junior year of play, and the San Diego native led the Tar Heels by registering 21 goals. She also tallied a pair of scores in the NCAA Championship Game that year in a 2-1 win over the University of Notre Dame. Nogueira was then the eighth overall selection by the Los Angeles Sol in the 2010 WPS Draft before moving to the Chicago Red Stars when the Sol closed operations. She made her professional debut against Sky Blue FC in its 2010 season opener, eventually recording three goals and four assists during her time in the Windy City. Nogueira has also made an impression on the international scene, tallying her first of five total caps with the U.S. National Team in 2007.
“We are very excited to add a young player who possesses the offensive prowess that Casey has,” Sky Blue FC General Manger Gioia DiFlumeri said. “Not only will she be able to make an immediate impression on our team, but she is a player who will excite our great fans for many years to come.”
Somerset, N.J. (Wednesday, December 22, 2010) – Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today the signing of two-time Swedish Player of the Year Therese Sjögran, who will join the team on loan from Damallsvenskan club LdB FC Malmö. The loan is part of an official affiliation agreement between Sky Blue FC and LdB FC Malmö that was formalized this week, and future terms of the partnership will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
"Therese Sjögran was one of the first players who I pursued the minute I accepted the Sky Blue FC head coaching position,” said Jim Gabarra, who took over the reins of the New Jersey club in October. “I believe that she will be one of the top midfielders in WPS. Her career achievements have been consistently exceptional, culminating in being named the Swedish Female Footballer of the Year."
Sjögran, who has appeared in over 200 matches for the Swedish National Team, led LdB FC Malmö to its first Damallsvenskan Championship in 16 years this past season. For her efforts, she received Swedish Female Player of the Year accolades for the second time in her professional career. Her first selection of the acclaimed distinction came in 2007, following a standout season that saw her also secure Midfielder of the Year honors. Additionally, the international mainstay has represented her nation in three separate FIFA Women’s World Cups and Olympic Games.
“I am extremely happy that LdB FC and Sky Blue FC have found this solution for me,” Sjögran commented. “This is something I have wanted for a long time, and LdB FC has supported me through the process. The decision fell on Sky Blue FC, thanks to Jim Gabarra’s interest in me as a player, as well as both organizations’ desire to cooperate. Now I get the opportunity to play professional soccer, World Cup, Damallsvenska game and Champions League all in one year. I look forward towards 2011 and the challenges that lay ahead.”
The loan of Sjögran officially kicks off the affiliation agreement between Sky Blue FC and LdB FC Malmö, something that Gabarra was thrilled to see become a reality.
“Sky Blue FC is elated to partner with LdB FC Malmö and create this pioneering affiliation agreement,” he stated. “This is, if not the first, surely one of the first affiliation agreements between an established international club and a WPS club. We look forward to developing and growing this relationship so that both clubs and women's football can continue to grow and achieve."
Sky Blue FC General Manager Gioia DiFlumeri was equally as excited about the partnership between the two clubs.
“As an organization, we are always looking for methods to strengthen our foundation,” she remarked. “Not only do we get an outstanding player with the addition of Therese Sjögran, but we have now established an affiliation with a world class club as well. I applaud the hard work of Jim Gabarra and the representatives from LdB FC Malmö, and I look forward to what the future holds for both of our organizations.”
Speaking on behalf of LdB FC Malmö, General Manager Niclas Carlnen spoke about the strength of developing an affiliation with Sky Blue FC.
“LdB FC constantly works towards developing the organization and club,” he said. “We look for new partnerships with organizations, both nationally and internationally. That we now with Sky Blue FC, one of the best and most stable organizations in WPS both on the field and economically off the field, can start a partnership on several levels is very interesting. Players and staff members will get the ability to experience new challenges through this partnership that will strengthen both organizations.”
Six Teams will have Four Rounds to Select the Best Talent out of College
SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 15, 2010) – Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that its 2011 WPS Draft has been scheduled at 1pm ET on Friday, January 14th during the 2011 NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, Md. WPS fans around the country will have the chance to follow their favorite team’s selections in real time via a live league webcast from Baltimore, Maryland, on www.WomensProSoccer.com
, the first time ever that the league has webcast its annual college draft.
The draft will start with Western New York Flash having the first pick in 2011 and will continue for four rounds of selections by the six WPS teams. As an expansion team, the Western New York Flash will also receive a supplemental pick at the end of the first round.
The live webcast will include chats, interviews and analysis from WPS experts for fans to follow along. The draft room itself will be open to league officials, teams and media with the public able to catch all the action on the web. The two previous No. 1 selections include Amy Rodriguez in 2009 out of USC and Tobin Heath in 2010 from the University of North Carolina. The league will post the top five prospects at all four positions (GK, D, MF and F) based on a panel of media experts prior to the draft.
2011 WPS Draft Order (subject to change via trades)
1. Western New York Flash
2. Philadelphia Independence * via trade
3. Atlanta Beat * via trade
4. Washington Freedom
5. Philadelphia Independence
6. Boston Breakers
7. Atlanta Beat * via trade
8. Western New York Flash * supplemental pick (expansion team)
9. Western New York Flash
10. Washington Freedom
11. Philadelphia Independence
12. Boston Breakers
13. Western New York Flash
14. Atlanta Beat
15. Philadelphia Independence *via trade
16. Sky Blue FC
17. Washington Freedom
18. Philadelphia Independence
19. Boston Breakers
20. Western New York Flash
21. Sky Blue FC
22. Washington Freedom
23. Philadelphia Independence
24. Boston Breakers
Somerset, N.J. (Friday, December 10, 2010)
– Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) completed a blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Beat today, with the team receiving midfielder Angie Kerr, forward Eniola Aluko and Basking Ridge, New Jersey, native Tobin Heath in the deal. In exchange for the three premier players, Atlanta will receive a pair of 2011 first round draft picks from Sky Blue FC, in addition to future considerations.
“Acquiring three high quality and experienced players like Aluko, Tobin and Angie gets us really close to solidifying our team on all three lines,” Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “This deal greatly increases the excitement about our upcoming season, and it will surely provide our fans with some very entertaining soccer in 2011.”
A member of the English National Team, Aluko brings to Sky Blue FC some incredible firepower on the offensive end of the field. In two seasons in WPS, the Birmingham native has registered 15 goals and four assists, starting 36 of the 39 matches in which she has played. Her nine goals in 2009 ranked her sixth overall in the league. On the international scene, she has remained one of the top scoring threats for the Three Lionesses since debuting for her country at just 17-years-old in 2004.
Heath, who was the first overall selection in the 2010 WPS Draft, was rated the number two recruit in the nation after completing a standout career at Ridge High School in New Jersey. She also played locally for the PDA Wildcats and was named the New Jersey Player of the Year in 2005 by both Gatorade and the Newark Star-Ledger. She then went on to play for the University of North Carolina and won three NCAA College Cup Championships (2006, 2008, 2009). She became the youngest member of the U.S. National Team in 2008 at the age of 19, playing for the Gold Medal winning American side at the Olympics that summer in Beijing.
Kerr provides Sky Blue FC with additional experience at the national team level, both as a youth player and with the senior team. The California native has made 37 starts in 40 games played over two WPS seasons, starting with Saint Louis Athletica before making the move to the Beat in 2010. She contributed three goals and an assist to the offensive cause in Atlanta last year, and the University of Portland graduate also has an NCAA College Cup Championship on her resume (2005).
“One of our major priorities this offseason was to address our attacking and goal scoring side, and Aluko was always one of our primary targets,” Gabarra continued. “Tobin is a player I have always appreciated because of her attacking abilities, as well as her being a really creative 1v1 player. Without a doubt, she will be very entertaining back here in front of her hometown fans. Angie Kerr is also a very intelligent soccer player who will fit in well with our midfield, making this trio a huge addition for our team.”
Sky Blue FC General Manager Gerry Marrone also shared the same excitement as Gabarra.
“Adding three players of this caliber only makes us wish the season was closer to kicking off,” he remarked. “A lot of negotiating went into this deal, and we could not be any more pleased to see it get done. The great fans of Sky Blue FC are in for a very entertaining season in 2011, and we encourage everybody to call us today to pick up their season tickets!”
for Sky Blue FC start as low as $99, and all fans who wish to secure their place for the 2011 campaign can do so now by calling 888-SBFC-TIX. The team also offers flex ticket packages that start with as little as four games, and those can also be purchased today by calling 888-SBFC-TIX.
Somerset, N.J. (Monday, December 6, 2010) – Along with the recent addition of midfielder Allie Long, Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has completed its second free agent signing of the offseason. The team formally announced today that midfielder Carolyn Blank, who is a native of Toms River, New Jersey, will be joining the organization in 2011 when it aims to return the league championship to the Garden State.
“We are very pleased that Carolyn decided to sign with Sky Blue FC,” head coach Jim Gabarra stated. “She brings us a nice defensive presence in the midfield. She also has a lot of upside, and we are looking forward to working with her.”
Blank was drafted by Saint Louis Athletica in the 2010 WPS Draft and started all six matches she played there, contributing a goal to the offensive cause. When the team closed operations, she was then signed by the Atlanta Beat as a free agent and went on to make eight more starts in 13 games played. Playing mostly from a holding position in the midfield, the former U.S. Youth National Team player tallied a total of seven shots in 1358 minutes of play.
“On both a team as well as a personal level, I am very excited about Carolyn coming to New Jersey to play for Sky Blue FC,” General Manager Gerry Marrone said. “In addition to being a Jersey Girl, she also played soccer for PDA (Players Development Academy), which is a great supporter of our organization. She will be a valuable asset to us, both on and off the field.”
After securing four Most Valuable Player Awards and becoming the all-time leading scorer at Toms River High School East, Blank continued her soccer career at West Virginia University. She helped the Mountaineers to the NCAA Tournament in each season she played in Morgantown, receiving NSCAA All-America accolades after both her junior and senior years. She also holds the program record with 92 games played, all of which were starts. For her college career, she totaled 13 goals and seven assists.
Not only does this signing mark the return of Blank to New Jersey, it will also be the second time that she has worn a Sky Blue kit. Prior to her junior season at West Virginia University, she played for Jersey Sky Blue, which was the USL W-League club that preceded the current professional team.
Somerset, N.J. (Thursday, December 9, 2010) – Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that English National Team defender Anita Asante is returning to the team for the upcoming season of play. Asante was a key member of the Sky Blue FC back line in 2009, helping the franchise to the inaugural WPS Championship.
“I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Anita again,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra, who brought Asante to the Washington Freedom last year. “We look forward to having her on our back line this season, and it is an extra bonus to see her returning to Sky Blue FC. She was one of the first defenders we targeted for our team, and her versatility only extends how valuable she will be for us.”
Asante started 16 games for Sky Blue FC in 2009, playing as a central defender. She helped anchor a defensive front which eventually brought the first-ever league crown to the Garden State, allowing only a single goal in three road victories during the playoffs. This past year, she made stops with Saint Louis Athletica and the Chicago Red Stars before Gabarra made the move to bring her to Washington, registering eight starts in 13 total matches in 2010.
“This is an exciting move for both Sky Blue FC and the supporters of our organization,” General Manager Gerry Marrone stated. “Anita was a major contributor to our championship run in 2009, and she was always a huge fan favorite off the pitch. We have said from the beginning of the offseason that our goal is to return the WPS Trophy to New Jersey, and Anita is a player we feel will play a pivotal role in making that happen.”
A native of London, Asante has been a member of the English National Team since 2004, helping the Three Lionesses to the 2009 Cyprus Cup Championship. She also played every minute of four games for England in the 2007 FIFA World Cup. Prior to arriving in WPS, she spent 10 years with Arsenal before signing with Chelsea Ladies of the English Women’s Premier League in 2008. Among her club highlights in Europe include a stellar 2006-07 campaign that saw the Lady Gunners win the UEFA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s National Premier League Championship and FA Women’s Premier League Cup.
Rick Stainton, President of Stainton Sports, is pleased to announce that John Archibald, President of Resolution Sports, has agreed to become the Director of Sports Media & Communications. John will oversee & manage components of web-site creation & design, print & digital media, public relations, consulting & communications for our clientele.
Resolution Sports was founded in 2008 by sports enthusiast and company President John Archibald. Since he was a young child, sports occupied a huge portion of Archibald's life. He was born in New Jersey but moved south to Tennessee at the age of seven where he achieved his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, getting his first taste of the industry in his college sports information office. After receiving his degree, he moved to South Florida to become the Public Relations Director of the Florida Firecats and won an arenafootball2 championship in his first season of professional sports.
After that 2004 championship season in South Florida, Archibald moved back to New Jersey in pursuit of the many sports opportunities that the Northeast possessed. It was then that he aggressively pursued the market, leading to game day endeavors with teams such as the Philadelphia Barrage (Major League Lacrosse), Philadelphia KiXX (Major Indoor Soccer League), Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football League), and the Rutgers University football and basketball programs. He also worked as a media assistant during the Men's East Regional of the 2007 March Madness college basketball tournament. Throughout those first few years in the Garden State, he concurrently worked as the General Manager of the New Jersey Terminators of the North American Football League, remaining with the team for three seasons.
Archibald was then hired in 2007 to be the Director of Communications for the New Jersey Ironmen, a professional indoor soccer side that played at Prudential Center in Newark, and he was with the team for both seasons that they competed. Among his responsibilities with the team included the regulation of the overall communications strategy pertaining to the Ironmen, including media, public and community relations. He was responsible for all written materials and team publications, as well as initiating and maintaining new media relationships. He also performed the updating and maintenance of the team website.
While working at his post as the Director of Communications for the Ironmen, Archibald began receiving requests from various sports organizations to produce a variety of tasks centered around the world of sports communication. As those requests began to steadily increase, he conceptualized the idea of a communication-based sports company on a train ride home from Newark one evening, and the foundation of Resolution Sports was created that very night. In just a matter of three weeks, Resolution Sports LLC was fully licensed and operational.
Within its first year of business, Resolution Sports had already established a partner base that stretched from the Northeast region of the United States to California all the way to the southern tip of Florida. The company continues to build an arsenal of goal-oriented partners in the sports industry and works directly with its partners in a collective pursuit of achieving personal and organizational goals while focusing upon the realm of sports communication.
I am very pleased to announce that Dan Borislow, a communications entrepreneur and inventor of the magicJack internet telephone product, has purchased a controlling interest in Washington Freedom through one of his companies effective today. We are so pleased to welcome Dan Borislow to Freedom and to the League. He will bring energy and new ideas to the organization and passion and commitment to women’s soccer. We would like to take this moment to thank the Freedom staff and our dedicated President/General Manager, Mark Washo. We are grateful to the amazing Freedom players who give their fans exciting sports experiences that are second to none. They bring passion, good will and tireless community service to their jobs and our lives every day. Finally, we wish to thank you loyal and beloved Freedom fans. After 10 years of operations and 5 seasons of professional play, we are delighted to put the reins in the capable hands of Dan Borislow, who comes to the table with a vision for the future of Women’s Professional Soccer and an understanding of the role the league plays in inspiring girls to excel as athletes and people. See you at the games!
-Maureen Hendricks, Chairwoman
Lines announced as Head Coach
ELMA, N.Y. (Dec. 1, 2010) – The Western New York WPS franchise officially unveiled its team name, the Western New York Flash, and logo yesterday in press conferences held in Buffalo and Rochester. The 2011 WPS expansion side also announced that it will play its home games at the 14,000-seat Marino Auto Stadium, home of the USLPRO Rochester Rhinos, in Rochester, N.Y.
The WNY Flash is owned by Joe Sahlen and will be based at Sahlen Sports Park in Elma, N.Y., located 23 miles east of Buffalo and 70 miles southwest of Rochester. Sahlen is the fourth generation owner and operator of Sahlen’s – a family owned premium meat distributor and packing company in Buffalo.
Former New Zealand National Team player Aaran Lines will serve as the team’s head coach. In 2010, Lines led the Buffalo Flash to an undefeated record and Championship Title within the USL W-League. Lines holds a UEFA B coaching license and is serving as the Advanced Training Instructor at Sahlen Sports Park.
As a player, Lines logged 41 appearances for the New Zealand National Team and participated in the 1999 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cups. He also played professionally for 16 years including stints with German club Werder Berman, Ruch Chorzow of the Polish First Division, Dresden of the German Second Bundesliga, the Auckland Football Kingz of the Australian National League (A-league), and VfL Osnabruck of the German Second Bundesliga.
Alexandra Sahlen joined the Buffalo Flash in 2009 as the team’s president and will continue in that role with the WNY Flash. Alexandra Sahlen’s extensive soccer resume includes helping to lead Niagara University to its first ECAC and MAAC Championship appearances, competing for the Rochester Rhinos from 2006-2008 and starting at outside back for the Buffalo Flash championship squad. She also coached in the NCAAs and coached the Empire United 91/92s to their first NYSW Championship in 2009.
The WNY Flash will kick off its inaugural WPS season in April 2010. For more information, visit www.buffaloflashsoccer.com