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Rampone, Kai Agree to Terms with Sky Blue FC

Posted by iamhannah on March 21, 2009

SOMERSET, NJ (March 20, 2009) – Sky Blue FC announced today that United States Women’s National Team standouts Christie Rampone and Natasha Kai have agreed to terms. The international duo are expected to be key components for the NJ/NY franchise in the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer.

Rampone, a defender and the USWNT captain, and Kai, a striker, joined Sky Blue FC in preseason a week ago after helping the United States to the final of the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Both players were halftime substitutes when Sky Blue FC posted a 1-0 preseason victory over the Washington Freedom last Saturday with Kai scoring the game’s only goal. The Sky Blue FC preseason continues tonight when it takes on the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC.

Both Rampone and Kai will be in uniform when Sky Blue FC kicks off its first-ever season two weeks from tomorrow. Sky Blue FC will battle the Los Angeles Sol – featuring three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta – on April 5th at 4 p.m. at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ. (888-SBFC-TIX | www.SkyBlueStore.com)

With Rampone and Kai secured, Sky Blue FC now features four current USWNT players including Heather O’Reilly and Kacey White, who both previously agreed to terms.

“Obviously with preseason in full swing, it’s been very exciting to get players finally into camp,” said Sky Blue FC Head Coach and General Manager Ian Sawyers. “Since the arrival of our international players just last week, we’ve been playing catch-up with those who played in the Algarve and Cyprus Cups. To have Christie and Tasha officially sign contracts means bringing great athletes to the team. They also add a level of excitement, leadership and motivation which have been a big lift for our group.”

Rampone joins Sky Blue FC with a long and accomplished international career that includes 215 appearances with the USWNT. A native of Point Pleasant, NJ and a graduate of Monmouth University, Rampone has made a name for herself as one of the top defenders in the world. She has played in three FIFA Women’s World Cups, including a championship trophy in 1999, and three Olympics including gold medals in 2004 and 2008. Rampone played for the New York Power in the WUSA from 2001 to 2003 appearing in 55 matches over three seasons. A star forward at Monmouth, she finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 79 goals and 54 assists.

“Christie obviously comes to Sky Blue FC with a level of experience unmatched by many defenders in the world,” Sawyers said. “Her resume boasts a number of championship medals at the highlest level. Her leadership qualities are something we value highly.”

Natasha Kai stormed onto the scene with the USWNT in 2006 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal with goals in each of her first two games and has been a dangerous striker on the international level since. Kai helped the US capture the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she scored the game-winning goal against Canada in extra time in the quarter finals. She also played in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. She currently boasts 24 goals in 67 career international appearances. On the collegiate level, she was the first player in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) history to earn three Player of the Year awards.

“Tasha is obviously a young player starting her journey to the highest level of play,” Sawyers said. She’s scored valuable goals for the National Team, and we hope that her Sky Blue FC experience will help launch her to even higher levels of performance.”

Courtesy of: Sky Blue FC

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