Matt Beard, Head Coach
617-945-1704 ext. 216
Matt Beard was named head coach of the Boston Breakers on Sept. 22, 2015. Beard most recently coached Liverpool Ladies FC in the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL), guiding the team to back-to-back FAWSL titles (2013, 2014). In 2013 with Liverpool, Beard compiled a record of 12-2-0 in 2013 and led the team to the FA Cup semifinals. He was named FAWSL Manager of the Year in a season that saw Liverpool qualify for their first-ever UEFA Women’s Champions League.
In 2014, Beard won the FAWSL title for the second year in a row, posting a 7-2-5 record. Liverpool also qualified for the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the second year in a row.
Prior to landing in Liverpool, Beard was the first team manager of Chelsea Ladies FC, where he spent three seasons (2009-2012). With Chelsea, Beard guided the Blues to the FA Cup final in 2012, the team’s first year in the FA Women’s Super League. He also led Chelsea to the FA Premier League Cup semifinals and finished third in the FA National Premier League.
From 2008-2009, Beard served as first team manager for Milwall Lionesses, where he won the Premier Southern Division.
As assistant first team manager of Charlton Athletic from 2004-2007, Beard was part of a coaching staff that helped the club earn several honors, including the FA Community Shield, the FA Cup title, and Premier League Cup.
Beard’s coaching career began in 2000 in the men’s game as Reserve Team Manager at Kingstonian FC in the National Conference. Beard led the club to the Surrey Premier Cup Final. He then served in similar capacity at Tooting and Mitcham, where he led the team to a third-place finish in the Suburban South Division. He later took over as Assistant First Team Manager at Hampton and Richmond Borough in the Ryman Premier Division.
Beard and his wife, Debbie, have two children: Harry and Ellie. He was born on Jan. 9, 1978 and is from Roehampton, London, England.
Paul McHugh, Assistant Coach
Paul McHugh joined the Breakers coaching staff on March 14, 2017. A native of Newcastle, England, McHugh holds a UEFA B License and has previously coached for Minneapolis United, East Durham Football Academy, Sunderland AFC Academy, Newcastle United Football Academy, and in the Peru National Team youth system.
McHugh has also worked with Simon Smith Goalkeeping Gk1, Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools, and Sondico School of Football.
Neill Caine, Goalkeeper Coach
617-945-1704 ext. 208
Neill Caine joined the Boston Breakers coaching staff on March 7, 2016.
Originally from Northampton, England, Neill moved to the U.S. in 2006, where he worked for Global Premier Soccer. After leaving GPS in 2010, Neill went on to start up and run his own soccer business, Number 1 Goalkeeping, where he specializes in running private soccer sessions and camps for goalkeepers across Massachusetts. In England, Neill coached at many clubs, including Leicester City FC, where he coached the development goalkeepers.
In 2012, Neill joined the coaching staff at Brandeis University women’s soccer program, where he helped guide the team to the NCAA Elite 8 in the 2012 season. Neill oversaw the goalkeepers that went on to break the shutout record (14 shutouts in 23 games). In 2013, he joined the men's coaching staff at Boston University. After a season at Nickerson Field, he made the short switch over to Northeastern University to join the men’s soccer program as goalkeeper coach. In June 2015, Neill returned back to Boston University where he rejoined the coaching staff and helped guide the team return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.
Neill currently resides in Marshfield, with his wife Meghan, and their son Gavin.
Leanne Champ, Second Assistant/Breakers College Academy Head Coach
Leanne Champ is a former England international team player and current staff coach of the Boston Breakers Academy and Assistant Director of Coaching for the Strikers United girls' program, whose teams are now known as the Boston Breakers Academy Strikers based in Acton, Mass. Capped 10 times by the senior England Women’s National Team, Champ also played for Millwall, Arsenal, and Chelsea. She holds a UEFA B coaching license.
Julian Haigh, Head of Sport Science and Player Performance
A Boston native, Haigh moved to England as child, spending the past eight years in Liverpool before making his return to join the Breakers on June 18, 2016. A UKSCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, Haigh earned a Bsc (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University in 2011, before going on to complete his Masters degree in 2015. During this time, Haigh co-authored four peer-reviewed scientifics, which have now been published.
Haigh most recently served as Assistant First Team and Head of Academy Sport Science and Strength & Conditioning for Widnes Vikings RL in the English Super League. During this time, 10 academy players were awarded first-team contracts with eight achieving international honors. Prior to joining Widnes, Haigh started his professional career working with Everton FC as a sport science intern before moving to Liverpool Ladies FC as assistant strength and conditioning coach for 2014 and 2015.
Dushawne "Doc" Simpson, Reserve Team Head Coach
Dushawne "Doc" Simpson was named head coach of the Boston Breakers Reserve Team In March 2017. No stranger to the Breakers organization, Simpson was the assistant coach for the Breakers pro team in 2016 and formerly coached Aztec Soccer teams in the Women's Premier Soccer League. Aztec was the former reserve team coach for the Boston Breakers during Women's Professional Soccer.
A native of Hartford, Conn., Dushawne has coached a number of women’s soccer teams for more than 20 years. He has spent the past 13 years with Aztec Soccer. Simpson, known to many as “Doc”, served in a number of roles at Aztec, including head coach since 2006. In 2009, Simpson led the Aztec U23s to the WPSL National Championship game. With Aztec, Simpson was the Director of Coaching in 2013 and 2014, the girls director from 2005-2013, the Aztec WPSL Head Coach from 2006-2014, and Head Coach of the men's Aztec Premier Arena Soccer League and won the men's National Championship in 2005 and earned three Regional Champship titles. Other positions and accomplishments include: Head Coach, Aztec U23 2009 EMWSL Champions; Head Coach Aztec U23 WPSL National Finalist; Director of Player Development Aztec/Breakers Reserves WPSL National Champions; and Head Coach Aztec U17G MA State Champs and Regional Finalist.
In 2013 and 2014, Simpson was the head coach of the esteemed Pingree School in South Hamilton, Mass. There, he won the 2014 New England Preparatory School Council championship.
Prior to coaching, Simpson played professionally in the United Soccer Leagues with Boston Bulldogs, Connecticut Wolves, and New Hampshire Phantoms and semi-professionally for the Lowell Blues of the Lusa American Soccer Association.
Simpson played high school soccer and basketball and ran track at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Conn. He played collegiately for Southern Connecticut University and Salem State College.
Simpson currently resides in Beverly, Mass.
Javier "Javi" Mejia-Blau, Breakers U-20 Head Coach
Javi Mejia-Blau has served as the Assumption College women's soccer coach since 2012. A former assistant with the Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer (2010), Mejia-Blau has also coached the Emerson College men's team, and served as an assistant for Brandeis, Wheaton, Emerson, and Tufts women's college teams.
Ashley Phillips, Consultant
Ashley Phillips was named the Boston Breakers goalkeeper coach and assistant coach on Dec. 17, 2013. Phillips, a native of Beverly, Mass., and former standout keeper at Clemson University, played played 11 games for the Breakers during the 2013 National Women's Soccer League season, logging 945 minutes, highest amongst Breakers keepers. She posted a 2-5-4 record with one shutout and a 1.82 goals against average.
Phillips served as the assistant coach at Northeastern University since 2010 under her former U-19 coach Tracey Leone. In 2013, Phillips and the NU coaching staff led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament after beating top seed James Madison in the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association championship.
She was named the fourth head coach in Northeastern women's soccer history on March 2, 2016. Phillips previously served as an assistant coach at NU from 2010-15, before being promoted to associate head coach in 2015 and interim head coach in 2016.
Phillips joined the Breakers in 2009 in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) as a developmental player. She made her debut on April 11, 2010, against the Washington Freedom. In 2010, Phillips started eight of nine games she played in for a total of 781 minutes. She registered a 1-4-4 record with two shutouts and a 1.15 goals against average. Prior to the Breakers, Phillips played for Boston Aztec of the Women's Premier Soccer League in 2009 and as the starter, she earned seven shutouts in 10 games. She spent six years playing for the Boston Renegades (2002-2006) of the USL W-League and also played for the Atlanta Silverbacks (2008) where she went undefeated during the regular season, recording five shutouts in six games. Phillips also played in the U.S. Women's National Team system for the U-16, U-17, U-19, U-21, and U23 teams.
As a four-year starting goalkeeper at Clemson University in South Carolina (from 2004-2007), Phillips holds the school record for most career saves (326), including a single-season high of 119 in 2006, the same year she was named third-team NSCAA All-America. The three-time All-Southeast region pick and three-time All-ACC selection, including first-team All-ACC in 2007, finished her Clemson career with a 1.09 goals against average and 22 shutouts. Phillips helped lead the Tigers to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship in 2006. She graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in December 2008.
Prior to college, Phillips attended Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody and was the starting keeper at Fenwick in the Division 2 North semifinal and scored a goal off a corner kick in the last two minutes to tie the game, one in which Fenwick won in overtime. She later transferred to Milton Academy. Phillips earned several All-America Team awards during high school, including the 2003 Gatorade Massachusetts High School Player of the Year. She played for Peabody Youth Soccer and on its travel team, as well as the club teams Northeast Futbol and the Spirit of Massachusetts and was selected for Mass Youth Soccer ODP, Regional, and District teams.