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Match Preview: Sky Blue FC vs. Orlando Pride

Sky Blue FC looks to stay perfect at Yurcak Field

Sam Kerr
Forward Sam Kerr has one goal and one assist so far this season for Sky Blue FC.
Courtesy of Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC vs. Orlando Pride

Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey

May 27, 2017

7:00 p.m. ET

Watch: go90 or NWSLsoccer.com

Sky Blue FC (3-3-1, 10 points) returns home to Yurcak Field on Saturday to host the Orlando Pride (2-2-2, 6 points) for the New Jersey club’s third match in a week. Kickoff for the contest is at 7:00 p.m. ET, and fans can either purchase tickets via online or calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849), or watch the match on go90.com, the go90 app or on NWSLsoccer.com.

The Jersey squad is coming into the match-up off the heels of a 2-0 loss Wednesday night at WakeMed Soccer Park against the first-place North Carolina Courage. Sky Blue FC rookie goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was the highlight of game for the club, recording 11 saves off of Carolina’s 21 shots and setting a SBFC record for the most recorded saves in a single National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) contest.

The all-time mark is held by Karen Bardsley, who recorded 13 saves on May 9, 2010 against the Atlanta Beat in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) action.

Sky Blue FC head coach Christy Holly featured a new starting line-up on Wednesday that excluded midfielder Raquel Rodriguez and forward Sam Kerr when both were available. Holly mentioned to the media after the team’s last home match against the Houston Dash (a 2-1 victory on May 20) that he was looking to rest players more this season now that he has more depth on his bench. However, the performance against the Courage was uninspiring for the most part, and the offensive side of the game seemed disjointed until Kerr and Rodriguez were on the pitch later in the second half.

Several questions remain heading into the Saturday night’s showdown against the Pride: What will Holly will do with his line-up on Saturday night; can the New Jersey side deliver a better performance than the two previous home matches this season; and can Sky Blue FC remain perfect at Yurcak Field this year?

Looking at Orlando, the Pride are coming into Yurcak with a three-game unbeaten streak, including a 3-1 win against the Courage on May 14. Most recently, the club tied 1-1 against Seattle Reign FC at Memorial Stadium this past Sunday. Marta scored the lone tally for the Pride to secure the point, however, the club lost starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris in the contest to a quadriceps injury. Harris is expected to miss eight weeks of action, which means former Sky Blue FC goalkeepers Aubrey Bledsoe and Caroline Stanley will be returning to New Jersey for the match.

The Florida team joined the NWSL in 2016, and in the Pride’s inaugural season, Sky Blue FC went 1-0-1 over two contests. The lone meeting at Yurcak Field resulted in a 1-1 draw as Alex Morgan and Kerr exchanged goals for their respective clubs.

The Saturday night fixture will be Sky Blue FC’s third home match of the season. In the previous two matches, Rodriguez scored the game-winner within the last ten minutes of the match. The last time Sky Blue FC had a winning record at Yurcak Field was during the 2013 campaign, which is the only season so far the club has qualified for the playoffs.