The quasi dark side of RBNY fandom.
This past week has been a big one for Sky Blue FC fans, as the team have announced that Erwin van Bennekom will be this assistant coach for the team. In addition, defender Caitlin Foord is finalizing a contract for New Jersey.
Bennekom is a Netherlands native and has spent the last two years coaching in the Women’s Premier Soccer League. He also serves as an assistant coach for the NJ Institute of Technology women’s soccer team. With him he brings both UEFA B and C coaching licenses, as well as various US coaching diplomas, and professional playing experience.
Bennekom will serve as the head coach of the Jersey Sky Blues in addition to assistant coach of Sky Blue FC. With this partnership, Jersey Blues will serve as the official reserve team for SBFC.
“I am thrilled to join the Sky Blue FC organization and to start working alongside Jim Gabarra,” van Bennekom said in an interview. “The opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world is an honor and something I’ve been aspiring towards for several years. I can’t wait to get started on the field and help continuing the growth of Sky Blue FC and the National Women’s Soccer League.” (via Sky Blue FC)
Coach Gabarra thinks Bennekom’s direct connection with the reserve team will increase player development and even allow players to move up to Sky Blue’s roster.
“Player development is critical to the overall success of a club,” Gabarra stated. “We are committed to the development of players within our market, and we look forward to the promotion of players from Jersey Blues to Sky Blue FC.”
In addition to a new coach and official reserve team, Gabarra has also confirmed that Australian defender Caitlin Foord will be signing with SBFC. The 18-year-old broke the news on twitter this morning that she will be headed to NJ. Foord was just 16 when she helped lead her team out of the group stage in the World Cup, starting in three of the team’s four matches.
“I liked what she did in the World Cup,” Gabarra added. “With some of the (speedy) forwards in the league she’s got the pace to run with them and defend them.” (via Equalizer Soccer)
Manya Makoski, a first round free agency pick, was the original thought for the right back position this year. With the addition of Foord, Gabarra hopes Makoski can have a more offensive role this season. It also makes Sky Blue the team with arguably the best depth in the back line.
Garbarra said he is not concerned with Foord’s age, but more her adjustment to life in a foreign country.
“The only concern is the same concern you have with every international player. It’s how quickly they will adjust to a little different culture and a little different lifestyle and a more physical and demanding league.”
Hopefully Foord will feel a bit more at home having her national team teammate Lisa De Vanna joining her this season.
Sky Blue will kick off their season on April 14th as they host Western New York Flash at Yurcak Field. Season tickets are now available and fans can purchase them by calling 888-SBFC-TIX.