Sky Blue FC Names Coombe Interim Head Coach

Freya Coombe, Sky Blue FC
Sky Blue FC Interim Head Coach Freya Coombe. Photo: Jonathan Louie/Sky Blue FC

A day after naming its general manager, Sky Blue FC has named additional members of its coaching and training staff.

Freya Coombe will serve as the team’s interim head coach, filling the position that was vacated earlier in the season with the firing of Denise Reddy. Also, Iouri “George” Vichniakov will serve as Assistant Coach and Player Development Advisor and Marcia McDermott will serve as Technical Advisor.

Coach Hugo Macedo, who led Sky Blue to a 4-2-4 record while overseeing game day responsibilities, will return to his role as goalkeeper coach.

“These professionals have been working with the team over the past few weeks and the players have responded really well,” said Alyse LaHue, Sky Blue general manager. “We look forward to a strong end to the season with continued progress and positive results.” 

Coombe joins Sky Blue FC from New York Soccer Club (NYSC), where she serves as the Director of Scouting and is a Development Academy Coach. NYSC is an official Girls Development Academy partner of Sky Blue FC. 

She played five years at Reading FC in England, a club that is now a part of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. She also coached at the club for seven years, serving as the Director of Coaching for the Reading FC Centre of Excellence and as the Women’s Development Team Manager for Reading FC Women. 

Coombe holds USSF B and UEFA B licenses and is actively progressing towards her USSF A license. 

“I’m grateful to management and ownership for the opportunity to coach such a great group of athletes and professionals,” said Coombe. “Sky Blue has made a lot of progress this year, and I’m looking forward to formalizing my role, working hard, and continuing that momentum.”

Vichniakov previously was the head coach of the Jersey Express of the Premier Development League, now known as USL League Two. He compiled a 47-18-15 record over four years as head coach and then as Sporting Director. During his tenure, the Jersey Express were 2014 Mid-Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference champions.

McDermott brings a wealth of experience from the college to the professional level, both as a coach and as an executive. She won a championship as a Head Coach with the Carolina Courage of Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) and served as the General Manager for the Chicago Red Stars of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).