Sky Blue FC returned to Small Group Training Wednesday at the Red Bulls Training Facility in East Hanover, N.J.
The club’s return to training follows the National Women’s Soccer League’s announcement on Monday permitting Small Group Training, subject to state and local laws. On Tuesday, New Jersey’s stay-at-home order was modified to allow the state’s professional sports teams to resume training and competition.
On Wednesday, the NWSL announced the 2020 Challenge Cup, a 25-game tournament to take place in Herriman, Utah, starting on June 27.
The NWSL did not start the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While NWSL announced a return to Small Group Training for Monday, we wanted to make sure we took our time and are doing this in the safest way possible for everyone,” said Sky Blue FC general manager Alyse LaHue said in a statement. “It is a wonderful day for the club to be able to return to this fantastic facility, and I’m grateful to our medical and technical staff for their efforts in making this day a reality.”
Small Group Training began with staggered player arrival and training times to ensure proper distancing and compliance with the NWSL Medical Task Force, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local safety guidelines. As per the NWSL’s “Return to Play Phased Protocol,” after five days of Small Group Training, teams may progress to Phase Three – Full Team Training.
“I am excited to be back with the team and hope to continue the positive momentum the squad had during our first week of training in March,” head coach Freya Coombe said in a statement. “The players have been working hard during the lockdown, including studying film and doing workouts via Zoom, so it will be great to see their hard work transfer to the field.”
There will be no media access at Red Bull Training Facility.
Sky Blue FC is following the NWSL Medical Task Force’s plan of proactive measures that will be implemented by the club at Red Bulls Training Facility to ensure the safety of players, staff and community.
Note: FrontRowSoccer.com received this press release at 11:29 p.m. Wednesday night.