Early this month, it came out the Sky Blue FC, the NWSL team based out of Piscataway, N.J, was in talks with the Red Bulls.
Details were scant at the time. There wasn't a whole lot else other than Sky Blue possibly playing in Red Bull Arena next year, or even for the 2014 playoffs.
But the New York Times has the lowdown on all the ways the two could come together. They even put them in bullet points. Seriously...
- Sky Blue could play its home schedule (or a part of it) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Sky Blue, which at one time was in first place in the N.W.S.L., had planned to play its postseason schedule at R.B.A. had it finished in first place. But that possibility evaporated late in the regular season and Sky Blue finished fourth, and will play in Rochester on Saturday against Western New York (Fox Sports2, 8 p.m. Eastern).
- Sky Blue and the Red Bulls could enter into a working relationship, perhaps with Sky Blue becoming a paying tenant at the stadium (by some estimates it costs $100,000 simply to open the gates at Red Bull Arena) and playing doubleheaders after the men's games. The Red Bulls could, for example, use their ticket-sales staff to also sell Sky Blue tickets.
- The Red Bulls, a club led by de Bontin, who worked in the past with the women's programs in his native France with Paris St.-Germain and Lyon, could buy Sky Blue. The Portland Timbers are the only other M.L.S. team to own an N.W.S.L. team, and the Portland Thorns have consistently outdrawn several M.L.S. and N.A.S.L. clubs.
In addition, the Times story mentions the two have been in talks for nearly a year.
How likely is any of the above? We have no idea and Jerome de Bontin was a big cagey in the interview, but you don't spend almost 365 days talking about something that will never happen. Plus, it would fall in line with a pattern of behavior from the Red Bulls' GM. De Bontin seems to feel making the Red Bulls a more welcoming, inclusive organization is key to future success. Bringing in the women's game would certainly do that.