Beat Host Sky Blue FC Saturday
KENNESAW, GA (AUGUST 5, 2010) - The Atlanta Beat (4-8-5) host New Jersey's Sky Blue FC (5-8-3) on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 7:00 P.M. ET at KSU Soccer Stadium for a third match-up between the two teams. This match marks Sky Blue's second trip to Atlanta, following a first appearance at the Beat's KSU Soccer Stadium home opener on Sunday, May 9.
The Beat are looking to get back on the winning track after an Aug. 4, 2-0 loss against the third-place Boston Breakers Wednesday night. Boston's Kelly Smith scored the first goal of the match forty seconds after kickoff and the Beat were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game. Smith scored again in the 62nd minute to seal the win for the Breakers.
Prior to Wednesday's match, the Beat were on a four-game unbeaten streak that began with a 1-0 result on July 8 over the Sky Blue club. July has so far been the Beat's most successful month, earning a 3-2-1 record. The recent surge has put the Atlanta squad one win away from playoff contention behind the Chicago Red Stars (fourth place), Washington Freedom (fourth place) and Sky Blue FC (sixth place). For the Beat to move into fourth place, they must defeat Sky Blue on Saturday to earn 20 points and need both FC Gold Pride to defeat the Red Stars on Aug. 7 and Sky Blue FC to defeat the Freedom on Aug 11.
Sky Blue's last match ended in a 2-1 loss on Sunday, Aug. 1 against the Chicago Red Stars, moving the New Jersey club out of fourth place in the WPS standings. Red Stars' Ella Masar scored the first of the match in the fourth minute. Red Stars' Karen Carney scored her first goal of the season in the 61th minute to put the Red Stars up 2-0. Sky Blue tried to salvage the match when defender Brittany Taylor scored in stoppage time, but that proved to be too little, too late. Sky Blue comes into Saturday's match on a four-game losing streak and are now in sixth place in WPS standings.
The last time Sky Blue visited KSU Soccer Stadium, they spoiled the Beat's home opener with a 1-0 victory over the expansion team. The lone goal of the match came as an own-goal by Atlanta.
While the Beat have been surging in the last month, Sky Blue FC has had its fair share of struggles. One day after the Beat defeated the New Jersey club on July 18 for their WPS first road win, Sky Blue announced the dismissal of head coach Pauliina Mienttinen and assistant coach Anne Parlin.
The Sky Blue squad was 4-6-3 at the time of the coaching change when assistant coach Rick Stainton was promoted to head coach on July 19 and Jesse Kolmel became his assistant. On Thursday, Aug 5, Sky Blue announced Jennifer Grubb and Jim Moore as assistant coaches for the remainder of the season. Grubb is a former player from the Washington Freedom and Moore is the former coach from Georgian Court University and Bryan University. Saturday's match will be the club's first test with the new coaching staff.
Saturday's match marks the final Sky Blue visit to Kennesaw with kick-off scheduled for 7:00 P.M. Any fans purchasing two West Sideline seats receive a special photo and autograph session with the Beat's Angie Kerr and Sky Blue's Heather O'Reilly. Call 678-298-4780 for more information or visit www.theatlantabeat.com.
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Women's Professional Soccer Stories from August 5, 2010
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