February 9, 2012
Sky Blue to take trip to Japan
Women's Professional Soccer teams are making plans for what they will do in 2012 while the league takes a year off to regroup, They range from playing in the Women's Premier Soccer League, to touring Japan to holding clinics and youth programs.
Sky Blue FC has formally committed to a 10-day training camp in Japan with Plenus Nadeshiko League club INAC Kobe Leonessa. As part of the planned schedule, the two teams will play a pair of exhibition matches in Kagoshima and Okinawa.
"We are really excited about this opportunity to go to Japan and play. INAC Kobe Leonessa is a very talented team with many national team players," Sky Blue FC head coach Jim Gabarra stated. "This is a great chance for our group of players to go and experience a different culture while playing against a team from another country. It is an opportunity that does not come along too often."
The team headed to Japan will be composed mainly of WPS veteran players. The first friendly with INAC Kobe Leonessa will be at Kagoshima Prefectural Kamioke Athletics Stadium on March 20th. The next destination for the two sides will be Okinawa, where they will meet on March 24th at Comprehensive Athletic Park. As part of the trip, the two teams will also be honored at receptions in both game cities, in addition to making appearances within those communities.
"This shows that we are continuing to move forward," said Gabarra. "Preparing for 2013 is certainly our mindset as players here in the United States will play in the USL W-League or WPSL (Women's Premier Soccer League) this summer. This trip is something we have been putting together for quite some time, and we are pleased to be able to take advantage of the opportunity. At the same time, it helps us in efforts to continue ramping up for 2013."
The Boston Breakers will play in the WPSL Elite League announced by the Women’s Premier Soccer League for the 2012 season. The league will be based in the East Coast and Midwest and will also include the Western New York Flash and current WPSL teams, The Chicago Red Stars of the Midwest-North Division and FC Indiana of the Midwest-South Division. More WPSL teams from the East will be added over the next few days.
The Philadelphia Independence has committed to doing a series of camps and clinics over the next several months, starting with Paul Riley's appearance on March 3 at the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Workshop. The team said it plans to announce other camp and clinic locations over the next several months. In addition, the Independence plans to hold viewing parties and other events tied to the U.S. Women's National Team participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.