Whether you are a sports fan or not, everyone knows that there are some teams that are more fun to watch than others. The ’96 Bulls – a great time. The Yankees during their Bronx Zoo era – amazing entertainment. How about the USA Gymnastics team during Rio? I bet you couldn’t turn your eyes away. Every team has their moment in the spotlight, but often times it is harder for women’s sports teams to find theirs.
So this is me tell you to not miss this moment of Sky Blue FC. They are building momentum heading toward the latter half of the season, they are meshing as a team on a new level, and they are having more fun than anyone else in the NWSL. They are the greatest team in sports to watch right now, and you should absolutely turn in. But, since I know you may need an argument from me in order to be persuaded, here are the top five reasons you should tune in and watch:
- The Aussie
Sam Kerr is Sky Blue’s starting forward and she is currently on a tear. The 23-year-old Australian National Team Player just hit her 35th NWSL goal of all time, making her the all-time leading scorer for the league. She is also currently leading the league in goals this season, and has more flair to her game than anyone else. She has made Sport Center’s Top 10 for the past two weeks – first with her insane bicycle kick against NC Courage, and then with her diving header last week against Kansas City FC. If that isn’t enough to get you interested in the front-runner for league MVP how about a back-flip celebration? How about the fact that she scored a hat-trick in twelve minutes last match in order to take Sky Blue from what was expected to be a 0-2 loss with only 15 minutes remaining in the match to a 3-2 win? Spark your attention yet? If not, check out #samkerrfacts on Twitter – you will not regret it.
- The Rookie
Some of you may remember my devastation a few weeks ago at Kailen Sheridan not being American (still kind of upset about it). Well, just for that fact alone you should tune in and catch a Sky Blue match. The Canadian rookie goalkeeper is something to marvel at. So much so that she could be the underdog favorite to win Rookie of the Year. She has an overwhelming presence on the pitch and a very short memory in goal (which is a necessity for anyone in her position). There is never a time that she looks shaken. In fact, I don’t think in any of the matches I have seen she has ever looked anything but confident. She barks orders to her back line, isn’t afraid to come off her line, and has ice water in her veins during penalty kicks. The last one she stopped, from their match against the NC Courage, literally made me jump out of my chair in celebration…my Uber driver was displeased so say the least. But who can blame me for being excited? She saved her clean sheet with the stop.
- The Vet
If you were anything like me growing up you probably watched the ’99 Women’s World Cup. It, in my opinion, is the defining moment that created the push for modern day women’s sports and its popularity. And because of that I can’t help but get a little nostalgic every time Sky Blue FC takes the field. Because I know Christie Pearce, Captain America herself, will be taking it with them. At 42 years of age she is not only the last remaining 99er to still be playing professionally, but she is also one of the most dominant center back’s in the league. Her career is winding down (though I selfishly think she should stick around a little longer) and for that reason I refuse to miss a single second of it…and you should too. The woman is a complete beast on the field and there is nothing better than seeing her break down some little twenty-something inside the box.
- The Rest of the Gang
I really could have made this ’21 Reasons Sky Blue is the Team to Watch Right Now’ and have listed every player, but this is not a Buzzfeed article. So here are some highlights. Kelley O’Hara – attacking right back for the USWNT who might be the most hyped person on the field at any given time. Raquel ‘Rocky’ Rodriguez – the Costa Rican National Player who looks like she is putting on a clinic in the midfield whenever she has space to move. Erica Skorski and Madison Tiernan hold the spot of hometown heroes and get to continue to play at Yurcak field, where they played during their time at Rutgers. Then there is Natasha Kai, who is currently out rehabbing after ankle surgery, but as a prior USWNT member, is someone to look out for when she returns.
But I think the best thing about this team is that they present themselves as a team – as a family. On social media they give each other shout-outs and post pictures together, they actively vote for each other for NWSL Goal and Save of the Week, and even crack jokes on each other. There is a transparency with this group of women that is rare in the sports world. And it’s clear they are not there for themselves as individuals, but rather the team as a whole.
- The Club
When you look at Sky Blue FC on paper they may not look too grand. They play at a college stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey, are currently sitting in 3rd place in league standings, and have the most unique makeup of a club and fan base in the league. But that is what makes them so great to watch. The club embraces their differences from the other teams in the league. They may not have a huge stadium like the Portland Thorns or the Chicago Red Stars, but they have New York and New Jersey’s love and support – they don’t need your stinking stadium. And they certainly don’t need the pitch to be their only platform to connect with fans.
Whoever is running their social media accounts is doing an amazing job (slow clap). They are actively in communication and interactive with their fans across Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. They like, retweet, and respond back to the people who show their support for the club (For reference check out this video they retweeted of every Sam Kerr goal of the season set the Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”).They let their players take over so the fans can experience a day in the life. And they even get in on the jokes. They think nothing of tweeting Sports Center and letting them know that Sam Kerr did another insane stunt on the pitch. And they don’t miss an opportunity to join in on the fun with the players either.
So there it is – five reasons that you should be watching Sky Blue FC. But if you want a bonus one before you go, here it is: you can watch them for free on go90.com anytime you would like. You have no excuse not to watch…not that they, or any of their supporters, would want your excuse anyway.
You can watch Sky Blue this Saturday, July 15th take on the Chicago Red Stars at 7:00 PM (EST) on go90.com.