SCOTCH PLAINS — Blue FC will kick off its pre-season schedule on Sunday, March 20, at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School’s Wexler Field. They will face St. John’s University beginning at 2 p.m. Admission for the event is free.

Last year, more than 500 people braved a pouring rainstorm and near-freezing temperatures to see some of the top female soccer players in the world prepare for their upcoming National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Sky Blue FC defeated St. John’s 3-0 last year before defeating University of North Carolina, Penn State, and Rutgers University in their final tune-ups. (NWSL teams schedule top regional college teams for their pre-season games.)

Sky Blue FC’s roster once again includes USA Women’s National Team (USA WNT)-allocated players Kelly O’Hara and Christie Rampone in addition to Australian National teamers Caitlin Foord and Samantha Kerr.

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USA U-23 National Teamer midfielder Sarah Killion, last year’s #2 overall pick in the NWSL player draft, is a rising star and all eyes will be on this year’s #1 pick Raquel Rodriguez, who was an All-American last year at Penn State and a member of the Costa Rica Women’s National Team. Former Rutgers star and 2016 draft pick Erica Sroski will also be making her Sky Blue FC debut.

The 2016 pre-season roster also welcomes back former USA National Teamer Tasha Kai – the only national teamer ever to come out of Hawaii.

Pre-game festivities will start at 1:30 p.m. with games and activities for children during team warm-ups as well so half-time mini-games featuring SPF and local teams. Sky Blue FC and SPFSA soccer merchandise will be available for sale as well. Sky Blue players will be available for autographs after the game.

The NWSL is a 10-team women’s professional league founded in partnership with the US Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Mexican Soccer Federation who all supply players to the league. It is considered one of the top female leagues in the world and features top international stars from Europe, Asia and Latin America in addition to American and Canadian stars.