NWSL's Sky Blue FC is haunted by past problems

Sky Blue FC cannot seem to shake 2018 reports about the NWSL club's poor working conditions and the housing situation for players.

As it seeks to rebuilt after 2018 season in which it won one game -- its last game of the season -- it needed to use Thursday's College Draft to fill out its roster. It had two picks in the first round and four of the first 11 selections, but there were questions raised about whether players would move to New Jersey to play for the club, which dates back to the old WPS in 2009.

NWSL in brief:
2019 Salary Cap: $421,500
2019 Minimum salary: $16,538
2019 Maximum salary: $46,200

Sky Blue president and general manager Tony Novo admitted there were "challenges" about getting UCLA's Hailie Mace, the No. 2 pick, to sign, and No. 6 selection Julia Ashley -- who hails from Verona, New Jersey -- admitted she was exploring options in Europe. Still, Novo expressed confidence that they would join Sky Blue FC.

He acknowledged that the bad press contributed to making the 2018 season “very challenging." Improvements were in the works, but he wasn't ready to reveal them.

“We’ve been working towards that," he said. "I promise you guys that within the next 30 days or so we’re going to make some of those announcements of improvements that we’ve made. To training, to housing, to some of the things that people felt were shortfalls in the past for us.”

Each NWSL club has a cap on housing and transportation subsidies it can offer. NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy said that the Permitted Team Assistance Cap would double in 2019, and Novo said the increase would help the club get more players into better housing arrangements.

“We’re in New Jersey," he said. "It’s very expensive. When the cap was what it was in the past, at a lower level, there were only so many players we could put [in housing]. That number has increased a lot, so we’re going to increase our housing a lot.&rdquo

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7 comments about "NWSL's Sky Blue FC is haunted by past problems".
  1. Ben Myers, January 11, 2019 at 12:14 p.m.

    No way can anyone be expected to live on $16,538 a year.  For that matter, $46,200 is barely enough to get by, especially im metro areas where most of the NWSL teams are.  Yet NWSL expects to attract women to play in the league, rather than going to Europe for higher salaries, more challenges, and a chance to see and experience life in other countries.  These women effectively have no choice if the opportunity exists to play in Europe.  The movers and shakers of NWSL can spout all their nonsense about love of the game, but living wages need to enter into this discussion.

  2. Bradley Rogers, January 11, 2019 at 12:53 p.m.

    I am shocked by the wages. Had no idea. These professionals could earn more freestyle busking on the streets. Their commitment is unquestionable and hopefully they are building a better future for their heirs. 

  3. R2 Dad, January 11, 2019 at 1:39 p.m.

    "If you don't sign for NWSL you'll never get another USWNT cap".

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, January 15, 2019 at 6:22 p.m.

    US WNT players are paid by USSF, not the club owners. Nobody is forcing the others to play in NWSL.

    It is not a good situation either way. The bottom line is women's professional sports are largely ignored by broadcasters and media. When the US WNT team was first formed their matches were not televised in the US.  

  5. nick p, January 11, 2019 at 5:02 p.m.

    The ownership structure of Sky Blue will make it more difficult now that one of the owners is a sitting Governor 

  6. uffe gustafsson, January 11, 2019 at 5:10 p.m.

    R2 dad
    you right on, ask christin Press she had to move back from Sweden to get the real opportunity to get on national team. 

  7. Bob Ashpole, January 12, 2019 at 1:48 a.m.

    It is better than no league, but that isn't saying much.

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