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Sky Blue FC Selects Asante in Discovery Process

October 3, 2008 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Sky Blue FC News Release

SOMERSET, NJ (Oct. 3, 2008) - Sky Blue FC - the New Jersey/New York entry into Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - officially announced today that the club has acquired the negotiating rights to international player Anita Asante of England. The rights to Asante were acquired through the WPS post-draft discovery process.

Including Asante, Sky Blue FC has now acquired the negotiating rights to six international players. In the inaugural WPS International Draft, the New Jersey-based team picked Sarah Walsh of Australia, Rosana and Ester of Brazil, and Kelly Parker of Canada. Following that draft, Sky Blue FC added Collette McCallum of Australia as a post-draft discovery selection.

The international players join United States Olympic gold medalists Christie Rampone, Heather O'Reilly, and Natasha Kai as potential players for Sky Blue FC.

"Anita has rapidly become one of the top defensive players in the women's game," said Sky Blue FC General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers. "We feel she will be a huge asset alongside Christie Rampone as the cornerstones in the Sky Blue FC defense."

Asante has been a member of the England National Team since 2004. She played in every qualifying game leading up to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and then played every minute of her team's four games at the World Cup as England advanced to the quarterfinal round before falling to the United States. She also played for England on the U-17 and U-19 youth levels, competing at the first-ever FIFA U-19 World Championship in 2002.

On the club level, Asante made news this past summer when she moved from FA Women's Premier League powerhouse Arsenal to Chelsea. Asante currently has Chelsea in second place in the league at 5-0-1 for 16 points while Arsenal stands atop the table at 7-0-0 for 21 points. During her time at Arsenal, Asante led the Lady Gunners to many titles including a stellar season in 2006/07 with a quadruple championship: the UEFA Women's Cup, FA Women's Cup, FA Women's National Premier League championship, and FA Women's Premier League Cup.

Sky Blue FC will now participate in the WPS General Draft on Monday, October 6. The draft will consist of four rounds of selections and 28 picks total from a pool of domestic and international players that have expressed interest in playing in the league. The draft can be followed online in real time at fans.womensprosoccer.com starting at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PT.

Following the draft, there will be a recap and a discussion of WPS with Nick Webster, Steve Cohen and a special WPS guest on Fox Soccer Channel's Fox Football Fone-In live starting at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PT on Monday, October 6.

Season tickets for Sky Blue FC are on sale now by visiting Sky Blue Soccer on the internet at www.SkyBlueFC.com or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX.

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