Women's Professional Soccer

New Jersey Sky Blue fires Sawyers

New Jersey's Sky Blue FC announced the official firing of  Head Coach/General Manager Ian Sawyers on Thursday afternoon.

According to the SBFC CEO and President Thomas Hofstetter, "The dissagreements between the coach, team, and management made it impossible to move forward successfully."

Hofstetter goes on to say that the club "needs to maintain the goals, and the atmosphere that is most conducive for [the] team, and be able to focus on building the league.  Consequently, we felt this move was necessary."

There is no doubt that the off-the-field issues have affected the team's on-the-field performance.

A source close to SBFC stated, "The real story from what I've heard  is that the players had a problem with him and weren't enjoying playing [for him or] buying into his philosophy which apparently changed from the beginning of the season/preseason."

The source noted that "he was teaching a possesion style of play [in the beginning, but] reverted back to his old ways of long ball/direct style which the team didn't like."

There was also mention that the coach's interaction with players went from nice and cordial to the complete opposite.

Interim head coach Kelly Lindsey continues to lead the team and SBFC VP of Sales and Marketing, Gerry Marrone, will take over as GM.

The club's president seems optimistic in the team's ability to rebound from this situation and said, "I have incredibly strong belief in the Sky Blue FC team as players and as people, and the tremendous character and stregnth they have shown throughout this process demonstrates that they will be successfull both on and off the field."

Sawyers, husband of former U.S. Women's National Team star Julie Foudy, could not be reached for comment.

What do you think about the firing of Ian Sawyers?  Will interim head coach Kelly Lindsey get the job done or should SBFC hire some new?  What will it take for New Jersey to get back on its feet?  Share your thoughts below.

  • Tim F.

    Even though she is not involved, I’d just like to say suck it Julie Foudy.


  • vasco

    seems interesting, wasn’t he the coach of the team the last couple of years.

    just seems strange, I was wondering why they weren’t dominating.


  • The Athority


    Why do we pretend that anyone even cares?


    You are evidence of my above statement. How could he be coach the past few years if this is the first year of the league?


  • daisy

    I thought hiring a former WUSA Coach was a bad idea all along. The new league needed new faces with fresh perspectives. Not ones that had the same mentality as the old. And one of the common coaching rules of thumb – you come out hard and strong and then get softer over time with yoru players. But if you come out soft and try to then be a hard liner – it never works. Good for Sky Blue for not letting a whole season go by before making this decision. What are the interim coaches qualifications? Does she have any? Other than {I played professionally for a few seasons}.


  • nathan3e

    Obviously someone cares or no one would be going to the games.

    Personally, I would paid a considerable sum to watch this: On one side, an SBI Mafia first XI made up of the jackasses that take the time to post regarding how little they care about WPS or otherwise comment in some infantile fashion (hello Tim F). On the other side, a team made up of WPS bench players. The SBI Mafia Jackass side could then try to keep the margin of defeat under ten goals.


  • The Athority

    Nathan, you lost me a little bit there buddy.

    Nobody cares and nobody goes to games. That’s why the old league folded and that’s why this league will fold.

    I have nothting against women’s sports. There just no appetite for women’s professional soccer in the USA that relates to the players paying their mortages.

    Not saying that they’re not good, don’t work hard, etc. Just that no one cares and there is no future in the near horizon.


  • bud

    Why the F does this league allow teams to be named without any city.regional connation?



  • JordanCornblog

    Wow – the Foudy-haters haven’t evolved a whit, have they? (Oops, my bad – they probably don’t believe in evolution.) Julie Foudy still scares people – I love it!


  • Almedin

    The Athority,

    First of all, there ARE fans that watch and if nobody cared they wouldnt show games on FSC moron!!

    Second of all, if YOU dont care about it, then dont READ IT MORON!!

    And lastly, dont try to be cool saying nobody cares about the league because you’re not.. you cant even spell AUTHORITY you MORON!!


  • ProudPapa

    SBI: I applaud your efforts on this blog to support and cover WPS and women’s soccer in general. You obviously understand building the soccer profile in the States needs to include all of its entities, leagues, and fan bases. It’s also nice too to have a US national team that actually wins something.


  • TwistedTidings

    You can make money off even a small audience, as at least some lower league baseball teams have shown over many, many years.

    WPS is getting 4-5k a game– if they control costs, that’s enough to have a sustainable league.

    The idea that “big” is the only way to make money and serve an audience is stupid beyond belief.


  • This Guy


    USMNT doesn’t need your childish comments. You should ask your wife if you are allowed to watch a USMNT match and you would see that our squad is solid.


  • espihir

    This Guy,

    Solid? What’s their World Cup record? Look’s like the WNT wins that battle. I want to see MNT v WNT, but that would never happen cause US Soccer probably wouldn’t want their men’s side emasculated like that!


  • Cindy

    what’s with the wholly irrelevant comments? don’t freaking read the article if you don’t care about it, why the eff is that so hard to do? obviously there are people that do care to read them and Christa does a great job.

    as for SBFC I never much liked Sawyers, and either way if he isn’t working out well for the team then it makes sense to nip this in the bud, as they’ve done. here’s to better luck for Sky Blue.


  • BlueWhiteLion

    testy testy. (hmmm, could spell that with and “i” and have a little irony).

    I will watch WPS over WNBA any day.


  • soccerroo


    a lot of hatred on this one. I know people are not fans of Foudy but come on. This is about her husband and not her.

    Secondly the comment about a winning team has been made by men about the mens team on USMNT post all the time and they do not get hammered like this.

    It is a Friday of a short week everybody just need to chil and enjoy the afternoon.


  • The Athority


    Wow, straight up class, very nice. I wasn’t disrespectful to anyoneone…..unfortunately you can not say the same.

    The misspel is there on purpose, thank you.

    You win, I’ll never read another article or comment on WPS. I’ll also write Ives and ask for these silly articles not to be written on his blog anymore.

    Good luck.


  • fckalihi

    Ives: In addition to women’s footie coverage, please continue the bikini ads.


  • Fulham Pete


    Don’t LIKE women’s soccer should equal don’t WATCH/READ ABOUT women’s soccer. The bile and venom spat at supporters of this league is detestable.

    We are lucky enough to have the best talent in the world for *this* sport playing in our country. Denigration of women’s soccer by comparing it to men’s, implicitly or explictly, is shameful and sexist.

    Whew, ok, now, Be Champions!


  • This Guy

    I commented towards ProudPapa’s comments not about WPS. I watch WPS and like to watch it. I think the competition is strong and Hope Solo is attractive. No need to bash the USMNT though. ProudPapa’s comments would be sexist if it was a reversed situation.

    I will admit to being jealous of the WNT as their friendlies are on ESPN and our USMNT matches are on ESPN Classic.

    Maybe if more men like ProudPapa would defy their wife’s wishes and watch the USMNT the ratings would be higher.


  • Miguel

    I’ve watched several WPS matches on FSC, and it’s been pretty good so far. I plan to make it to, at least, one Sky Blue match this season.


  • ProudPapa

    I fail to see how my comment is childish, it’s a simple truth. The thing I’m having trouble with in this thread is why fans of the greatest game don’t want to see it succeed in all its forms? “This Guy” – you’re obviously an adolescent that has allot of passion for the game. That’s good, the game needs fans that are passionate. Maybe one day you’ll come around and support both the M & WNT with that same passion. I’d like to think the majority of fans who subscribe to this blog do.

    Fulham Pete “Be Champions!” = greatness.


  • Pete

    Say what you want about the WPS … but even if it’s a bad game there’s something to watch.

    Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.


  • jloome

    Say what you want about the WPS … but even if it’s a bad game there’s something to watch.

    Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.
    Nyuk nyuk.

    Not football, but bouncing.

    And as to the delusional lass above who thinks the WNT would last eighteen seconds against the men’s team, I’d suggest you go watch some local elite youth boy’s soccer. If you still think the women’s national team could beat the men’s, you’re either blind or it’s that time of the month and you’re delusional.


  • Chuckie

    The WNT would lose my six goals to the Mens under 18 team. As a rule men are taller, faster stronger. ergo better at sports


  • Scott A

    Disclaimer: I am not a WPS or Women’s soccer basher. They are amazing athletes and I support their endeavors. However…anyone suggesting that the women’s national team would stand a chance against the men’s national team is delusional, incredibly delusional.
    P.S. I can’t help but add to the side comments, Foudy drives me crazy too


  • JoeW

    Wow–what a litmus test for a lot of people.

    1. You can root for the WNT or a WPS team without having to conclude they’re the best soccer in the world. FWIW, there are plenty of top-flite women’s players (Birgit Prinz for instance) that aren’t in WPS. I mean–I root for MLS teams and I have no illusion that MLS soccer is the best in the world.

    2. The argument that the WNT would beat the MNT is, uh, wildly off-base. When the women’s NT had a residency camp in Bradenton (where the boy’s U-17 is also based), the boy’s U17 team consistently beat the women with Mia Hamm and the “Girls of Summer”.

    3. Part of the deal with Ian Sawyers is that the “Girls of Summer” team has had too much influence in women’s soccer in the US. I don’t have a problem with former WUSA coaches being in WPS. But it’s not clear to me that if Sawyers didn’t have the Foudy link that he’d have been hired. As it is, he’s not popular with the players, is trying to play a brand of soccer inconsistent with the NT coach (who is looking to play more possession-oriented soccer) and most of all, the team is losing.


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