Yurcak Field; Piscataway, New Jersey
April 15, 2018
5 p.m. ET
Watch: go90 or NWSLsoccer.com
Sky Blue FC (0-1-0, 0 points) will play its 2018 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) home opener on Sunday afternoon when the New Jersey club hosts Seattle Reign FC (1-0-0, 3 points) for a 5 p.m. ET kickoff at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey. Fans unable to attend the match can watch via the go90 app or on NWSLsoccer.com.
“Playing in the home opener and in front of your home crowd is always exciting,” said Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy in a team press release. “With the help of Cloud 9 and the rest of our supporters, we can make Yurcak Field a place where it is tough to play, and that is the goal. For me personally, it is extra special to have my family and friends able to attend all of our home matches.”
The contest will mark the NWSL home debut for Reddy as head coach for Sky Blue FC. The New Jersey native helped start the club as a USL W-League franchise back in 2007, and she returns to the helm after most recently being an assistant coach with the Washington Spirit. Sunday will also mark the return of two-time FIFA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd, who was acquired by Sky Blue FC this past offseason in a blockbuster trade during the 2018 NWSL College Draft.
The match-up will be the first of the season between these two clubs. Sky Blue FC comes into the game off a last-minute defeat to the North Carolina Courage two weekends ago. The game remained scoreless up until added time when Jaelene Hinkle played a phenomenal pass through the New Jersey backline to find Jessica McDonald and set her up for the game-winner in the 92nd minute of action.
Seattle had a bye before the FIFA break last weekend and will also be playing its second match of the season. In Seattle’s home opener, the Reign hosted the Washington Spirit and won by a final score of 2-1. Seattle opened scoring in the 7th minute off a Megan Rapinoe direct kick, and then Rapinoe set-up Jodie Taylor in the 35th minute to pull ahead by two. Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman found the back of the net in the 68th minute to try and make a comeback, but the Reign managed to hold off the young attack and preserve the 2-1 lead for the win.
Both teams will be missing players on Sunday due to international call-ups. The Reign will be without Japan internationals Nahomi Kawasumi and Rumi Utsugi, and Australia internationals Steph Catley and Lydia Williams. For Sky Blue FC, Brazilian midfielder Thaisa Moreno will be unavailable.
The last time SBFC and SRFC faced off in New Jersey was on August 19, 2017, and the contest featured an unbelievable comeback by Sky Blue FC to defeat Seattle 5-4. Sam Kerr scored four goals in the second half, including the game-winner in the 94th minute of play, to lift the New Jersey squad to victory.
The last time Seattle defeated Sky Blue FC at Yurcak Field was on June 1, 2014, when the Reign defeated SBFC, 3-1. During the 2014 season, Seattle also defeated Sky Blue in New Jersey on April 30, 2014 during a terrible rain storm. Since 2015, Sky Blue FC holds the series advantage at Yurcak Field against Seattle Reign FC with a home record of 1-0-2 during that span.
Sky Blue FC
OUT: Amandine Pierre-Louis (right tibia/fibula contusion), Domi Richardson (illness), Erin Simon (left foot hardware removal – D45)
QUESTIONABLE: Madison Tiernan (left turf toe)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Thaisa Moreno (BRA)
Seattle Reign FC
OUT: Jaycie Johnson (right knee sprain)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Steph Catley (AUS), Nahomi Kawasumi (JPN), Rumi Utsugi (JPN), Lydia Williams (AUS)