Sky Blue Sets 2015 Schedule; Open With FC Kansas City

Calendar MLS

by CHRIS HENDERSON
NWSL Beat Writer

With the season just two months away, the NWSL and Sky Blue FC provided the first full glance at their new look schedule on Thursday. The 20-game season will be shortened by four games from 2014 and will be on hiatus for three weeks in June for the World Cup in Canada.

For Sky Blue, the season opens at 4pm on April 12, away to champion FC Kansas City at Sporting Park. A week later, they open their home slate against the Houston Dash at 7pm on April 18 at Yurcak Field.

The shortened season means that instead of playing the other eight teams three times each, Sky Blue will face Seattle, Chicago, Portland, and Houston three times, but be limited to home and away fixtures against Western New York, Boston, Washington and Kansas City. The team plays Portland and Houston twice at home, while making two trips to Seattle and Chicago.

The World Cup opens on Saturday, June 6 and runs through Sunday, July 5. Sky Blue’s final game before the break takes place in Seattle on the same day that the cup starts. They return to the field on June 28 at home to Chicago Red Stars and play one more game while the tournament is still happening on July 6 at the Portland Thorns in Oregon.

Sky Blue captain Christie Rampone (US) and first-team players Kelley O’Hara (US), Jonelle Filigno (Canada), Sam Kerr (Australia) Caitlin Foord (Australia) and Monica Ocampo (Mexico) will likely be called in for their national teams. They will, therefore, miss a significant portion of the NWSL games before the tournament for training and any that take place while their teams are still alive.

The World Cup break means that the NWSL season will extend into September for the first time. The final Sky Blue regular season game will take place over Labor Day weekend against FC Kansas City at home. The playoffs begin with the semi-finals on the weekend of September 12-13 and the final two weeks later on either September 26-27. The two week break avoids a potential conflict with FIFA international dates and provides a longer window to promote the championship game.

The drivable away days for supporters this year are Washington Spirit (May 16), Boston Breakers (May 22), and Western New York Flash (July 19). The full schedule is below:

All Times Eastern
April 12, 4p: FC Kansas City (A)
April 18, 7p: Houston Dash (H)
April 26, 6p: Washington Spirit (H)
May 2, 8p: Chicago Red Stars (A)
May 9, 7p: Seattle Reign FC (H)
May 16, 7p: Washington Spirit (A)
May 22, 7p: Boston Breakers (A)
May 31, 3p: Houston Dash (H)
June 6, 10p: Seattle Reign FC (A)
June 28, 6p: Chicago Red Stars (H)
July 3, 10p: Portland Thorns (A)
July 11, 7p: Portland Thorns (H)
July 19, 3p: Western New York Flash (A)
July 25, 7p: Boston Breakers (H)
August 1, 7p: Western New York Flash (H)
August 7, 8:30p: Houston Dash (A)
August 12, 2p: Chicago Red Stars (A)
August 22, 7p: Portland Thorns FC (H)
August 29, 10p: Seattle Reign FC (A)
September 6, 6p: FC Kansas City (H)