The third attempt at starting a National Women’s Soccer League in the United States began in 2013. Unlike the previous efforts, the NWSL successfully progressed into its fourth year, a feat that had never been accomplished before. This time around, there are sponsors, television coverage, and most importantly, fans.

Sky Blue Football Club, the only professional women’s soccer club in the tri-state area has witnessed the rise of an enthusiastic team with big names like Christy Rampone and Natasha Kai as players. They have also enjoyed unwavering support from their supporters’ club, Cloud 9.

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Christy Rampone, 41 and former captain of the United States Women’s National Team is about to kick the ball in training with her Sky Blue FC teammates on their training ground at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey.

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Natasha Kai, 33 and another United States Women’s National Team player, in training at Georgian Court University. According to Sky Blue FC fans, Kai has brought character to the team. She is particularly loved for her hashtags on social media ‘#boombam’ and ‘#madafaka’.

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A still from Sky Blue FC’s training. The women fight to train everyday in freezing temperatures, for a salary averaging $15,000 per annum.

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Nikki Stanton, 26, midfielder for Sky Blue FC gave up years of competitive Irish dancing so she could “push people over on the soccer field.”

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Heather Lamb, 29 sports a Cloud 9 jersey, the official supporters’ club for Sky Blue FC. Cloud 9 members come to the city to watch games and cheer their team on in the Football Factory of Legends Bar at 6 W 33rd St, New York, NY.

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Antony Lin, 31, signs his Cloud 9 membership renewal form in the Football Factory of Legends Bar at 6 W 33rd St, New York, NY. Amidst fandom that predominantly compromises of soccer moms and teenage fangirls, Cloud 9 is trying to appeal to members who not only follow soccer, but yell, chant and go berserk over it. Lin is one of them.

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Heather Lamb, 26, waits for the start of Sky Blue FC vs Washington Spirit at Sky Blue’s home turf, Rutgers University. She is the ‘Hype Girl’ – a snare-drum-carrying, loudly-chanting, ruthlessly-bantering part of Cloud 9 Supporters’ Group.

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Only a small section of the bleachers, Section 9 filled with 15-20 supporters, is abundant with Sky Blue paraphernalia.

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Middle – Jennifer Muller, 40, considers Cloud 9 her brainchild. She will resort to threats to get people to come to the game. “Whatever it takes,” she says.

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Heather Lamb, 26, on her way, snare-drum in hand, to try and get the quiet crowd riled up for their “Jersey Girls.”

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Squirtle, age unknown, is a key member of Cloud 9, according to owner Francesca Duarte, a proud Cloud 9 member.

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Heather Lamb, 26, talks to a captivated audience and tries to convince them to come along for the ride as she moves between sections of the bleachers at Rutgers University.

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Danny ‘Chico’ Prada, chant coordinator for Cloud 9, engages in playful banter with the supporters’ group of the rival team, Washington Spirit by holding up a scarf that says “Jersey Girls Ain’t Nuthin Ta Mess Wit”.

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Christy Rampone, 41 engages in conversation with a fan after the game at Rutgers University.