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Sky Blue FC, Reign FC make history at Red Bull Arena – Equalizer Soccer

Kailen Sheridan

Photo copyright by Lewis Gettier/The Equalizer

Sky Blue FC 1, Reign FC 1 

It was almost immediate. After Sky Blue FC took advantage of Casey Murphy coming off her line and Elizabeth Eddy scoring against her, Reign FC wouldn’t let the New Jersey club take the lead for long. Instead, Allie Long found a pass from Ifeoma Onumonu and then fed the ball to Jodie Taylor, who calmly slipped it past Kailen Sheridan.

All of this happened at Red Bull Arena — not Yurcak Field. Due to all the hard work from Alyse LaHue and other staff members of Sky Blue FC, the two sides were able to feature at Red Bull Arena. It was the first-time in the stadium’s history that it hosted an NWSL match. The soccer-specific stadium is the nome of Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls.

The atmosphere for the teams in Red Bull Arena was electric. The final count was 9,415 fans, which breaks Sky Blue’s franchise record.

The match did feature a somber moment, though. Early in the first half, Shea Groom went down after colliding with Carli Lloyd. With a rib injury, Groom looked to be in a tremendous amount of pain. She was stretchered off the pitch and taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. Onumonu took her place in the 19th minute.

Throughout the match, it was confirmed that Groom has a broken rib.

Sky Blue FC kept an even-keel pace throughout the match. Late in the match, Raquel Rodriguez won a free kick right outside of the box, after Allie Long brought the Costa Rican down. It was one of many chances that did not go in the back of Murphy’s net. Sky Blue registered two shots on goal, courtesy of chances from Paige Monaghan and the goal from Eddy.

Meanwhile, Kailen Sheridan was busy on the opposite end. The Canadian goalkeeper stretched at every single angle to make five saves against Beverly Yanez, Bethany Balcer, Rosie White and Onumonu.

With the point alike, Reign FC sits in fifth place while Sky Blue FC takes up eighth place.

Goal Summary

  • Sky Blue FC (Elizabeth Eddy, 36′)
  • Reign FC (Jodie Taylor, 38′)

Caution Summary

  • Reign FC (Allie Long, 84′)

— Rachael McKriger

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Ibrahimovic says new teammate Pavon is ‘too good for MLS’

Bashing Major League Soccer is becoming second nature to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Days after criticizing the MLS playoff system, Ibrahimovic seemingly took a backhanded shot at his counterparts while saying the league’s newest arrival, Cristian Pavon, is on a higher competitive level.

“He is very good,” Ibrahimovic said after the Galaxy’s victory over Dallas on Wednesday, according to ESPN. “He is too good for MLS.”

“I think MLS will not have him for a long time,” he added. “We should enjoy him while he is here.”

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Pavon joined the Galaxy earlier this month in a season-long loan deal from Boca Juniors after the two teams failed to agree on a transfer fee.

In his second match with the Galaxy, Pavon played a role in the buildup to Ibrahimovic’s opening goal. Los Angeles then went on to win 2-1, ending a three-game losing streak.

Ibrahimovic’s praise of Pavon seems to fall in line with his recent criticism of MLS.

Last week, the 37-year-old voiced his displeasure with how the league’s playoff system works.

“I think the system is shit,” he said, according to ESPN. “How can you learn mentality if you only have to reach the playoffs?

“You just need to win the playoffs, and that’s it. The results in each game are important, but here, if you come in seventh place, you make the playoffs and win, you are champion.

“For me, the mentality is every day, training the way you train is the way you play a game, and with the MLS system, how do you create that mentality to be on your toes 24 hours? It’s very difficult.”

Ibrahimovic failed to make the playoffs with the Galaxy in his first season. But he’s put the team – which currently sits fifth in the Western Conference – on track to make the postseason this term while scoring 18 goals in 20 matches.

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