New Jersey Youth Soccer has officially announced a renewal of its partnership with Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Key elements of the relationship will include community outreach and engagement between youth players and the professional players of Sky Blue FC. In the short term, the two organizations aim to develop resources and entertainment together as the state continues to practice social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very pleased to renew our partnership with Sky Blue FC and to continue our support of the professional women’s game,” said Evelyn Gill, President of NJ Youth Soccer. “We have great pride in Sky Blue FC being our professional representative here in New Jersey. The players of Sky Blue FC and the National Women’s Soccer League serve as incredible role models, both on and off the field, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them for many years to come.”
NJ Youth Soccer and Sky Blue FC will work together throughout the year to support the overall growth of the game. Planned initiatives include Sky Blue FC player appearances at NJ Youth Soccer events, both virtually for the time-being and then in person once activities resume outside. Further, the two groups will explore initiatives to recruit and retain women at all levels of the sport. Among the areas of focus for those efforts are coaching, refereeing and administrative roles, as well as off-field initiatives to inspire youth players to remain in the game.
“New Jersey Youth Soccer has been an incredible partner to Sky Blue, so we are thrilled to formalize this relationship for another two years,” said Alyse LaHue, Sky Blue FC General Manager. “We look forward to more engagement between our organizations and expanded interaction between Sky Blue professional players and youth players at all levels of the game.”
This year, Sky Blue FC is set to enter its eleventh overall season as a professional club. 2020 also marks the first full season for the team at its new home of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Sky Blue FC boasts an incredibly accomplished roster, including the likes of two-time FIFA Player of the Year and NJYS Ambassador Carli Lloyd, U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh, former New Jersey ODP player Madison Tiernan and New Jersey natives Paige Monahan, Erica Skroski and Kenie Wright.
The NWSL has currently suspended all activities until at least May 5, 2020. Once it is deemed safe for a return to training, league decisions will be made regarding the schedule for the 2020 season.