Sky Blue News Release - www.skybluefc.com
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
SOMERSET, NJ -- Sky Blue Soccer announced that the Somerset, NJ-based company has come to an agreement to transfer the rights to its W-League women’s soccer franchise to Quickstrike FC in New York. The agreement allows Sky Blue Soccer to focus on running its professional franchise - Sky Blue FC - in the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2009.
The W-League team will be relocated to New York and will be renamed the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues. As part of the deal, Sky Blue Soccer and Quickstrike FC will work together with the Lady Blues serving as a feeder/identification program for the Sky Blue FC professional team.
"Quickstrike is a great organization with a vision that we really buy into," said Sky Blue Soccer President and CEO Thomas Hofstetter. "As a soccer club, not only do they have a good understanding what it takes to run a good youth program but also the business expertise to make them successful on the W-League level."
Quickstrike recently saw its U14 and U15 Girls squad reach the semifinal round of the 2008 Super Y-League North American Finals. A third team competed in the U13 Boys bracket. The club finished the year ranked 13th in the SYL First and Second 11 club rankings amongst the Girls table and 21st in the Overall table.
Jersey Sky Blue competed for two successful seasons in the W-League. In 2007, the team made a strong debut posting a 12-2 record with a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This past summer, Jersey Sky Blue recorded an 8-4-2 mark. The franchise was honored by United Soccer Leagues in both seasons earning the W-League Rookie Franchise of the Year Award in 2007 and the W-League Communications Award in 2008.
"We’re excited about the opportunity to bring this level of soccer to the Hudson Valley," said Quickstrike FC General Manager Joseph Belsito. "We are working very hard to reach our ultimate goal of developing Quickstrike FC into one of the premier soccer programs in the country and the addition of a W-League team to our club is an additional step in that direction."
Prior to the launch of Women’s Professional Soccer, the W-League served as the highest level of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. When WPS kicks off in 2009, the W-League will serve a vital role in supporting the professional league by providing a feeder system for the top collegiate, international, and amateur players in the world.
"The Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues has been one of our goals since we first started Quickstrike FC and now it’s a reality," said Quickstrike Lady Blues Head Coach Jesse Kolmel. "Our W-League team will provide not only competitive opportunities to the top female soccer players in the region, but those experiences will be passed down to players at all ages throughout the Hudson Valley."
Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers is looking forward to having the Lady Blues serve as a resource to support Sky Blue’s professional venture.
"The Quickstrike group exemplifies everything we want from a soccer organization in terms of personnel, resources, facilities and fan base," Sawyers said. "We will rely heavily on the W-league team as a feeder system for our professional team. We will train on a regular basis with its player pool and will constantly exchange information with the coaching staff re player evaluation and player development strategies."
"Any top youth, collegiate, amateur and international prospects that have an interest in pursuing a career with Sky Blue FC will be encouraged to play with the Lady Blues," Sawyers added. "Both Joe and Jesse, along with the rest of the Quickstrike staff, have shown tremendous enthusiasm, passion and insight toward the development of professional women’s soccer in the Tri-State area, we look forward to a positive long-term partnership."
Season tickets are available now for Sky Blue FC’s debut in WPS. Sky Blue is also offering soccer gift packages for the holiday season. For more information about Sky Blue FC, visit the team on the internet at www.SkyBlueFC.com.