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Archive for January 4, 2019

Jan. 4, 2019 — A Sky Blue crisis

Last year, Sky Blue FC, the New York/New Jersey team in the National Women’s Soccer League, finished with a record of one win, six draws, and 17 defeats. It’s one of the worst seasons in the nascent history of USSF women’s Division I pro socccer, rivaled only by the Atlanta Beat’s one-win season in the final season of WPS in 2011.

Since the end of the season, there has been a saga playing out between the team’s front office, players, and supporters. It’s way too complicated to spell out in this space, but a lot of the complaints about mismanagement of the club can be found here as well as here.

But there is an unprecedented dimension to this crisis: one of the board members and part-owners of Sky Blue FC is the Phil Murphy, the Governor of the State of New Jersey.

Yep, the chief executor of the laws of the state is part owner of a business which is accused of giving substandard working conditions to the athletes it employs.

Adding to the poor optics is the fact that, in the weeks after the 2018 season ended, a handful of players have left the team.

Next week’s NWSL Draft is going to be doubly interesting. Pundits have hinted that any blockbuster move to try to improve Sky Blue’s roster would likely take place in the next few days.

The team does have the second and third overall picks. But can the resulting players, an aging Carli Lloyd, and what could be a roster of castoffs be able to right the ship?

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