Sky Blue FC got its first win of the year in its first game after manager Denise Reddy was fired, upsetting Australian star Sam Kerr’s Chicago Red Stars 2-1 on Saturday in Bridgeview, Ill.
Penn State alum Raquel Rodríguez opened the scoring in the 23rd minute and Sellersville native Jen Hoy doubled the lead in the 81st. Chicago’s goal came in the 83rd from Danielle Colaprico, a midfielder who came up short of making the U.S. World Cup team. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made seven saves.
Reddy was fired on June 28 after compiling a 1-8-24 record in a year and a half in charge, including an 0-2-7 record this season. Her only win was last year’s season finale, at home against the Orlando Pride.
Sky Blue’s last road win came on Sept. 30, 2017 over the now-defunct Boston Breakers. That game ended up being the last one of the Breakers’ existence.
Goalkeeper coach Hugo Macedo took charge of the bench Saturday night. He did not speak with the media after the game. Rodríguez did, calling the win “a new start” for a team that’s perennially been among the NWSL’s worst.
“I know it sounds weird because we’re halfway through the season, but for us, we’ve been through a lot and the odds have not been in our favor in the past, too,” she told reporters after the game. “Today we didn’t accept anything less than a win. We came out with that attitude and we proved to ourselves that it’s a new beginning.”
Sky Blue hosts the Utah Royals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field. The teams’ U.S. World Cup stars — Sky Blue’s Carli Lloyd and Utah’s Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara — won’t be back yet. But the Royals are likely to have former Philadelphia Independence and Spanish national team midfielder Verónica Boquete back in their lineup after she missed a few weeks due to an ankle injury.