(April 7, 2014) - The Boston Breakers are set to embark on the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League season. A year after finishing fifth in the NWSL table, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot, the Breakers return to the field with a whole new look, led by first-year Breakers head coach Tom Durkin.
The Breakers, who went 8-8-6 in 2013, including three wins and a draw in their final five matches under the direction of player/coach Cat Whitehill, return 10 players from last year’s team. This group includes Team MVP Lianne Sanderson, who led the Breakers and ranked third in the NWSL with seven assists, also tallied five goals (tied for second on the squad with Heather O’Reilly. O’Reilly is one of three allocated U.S. Women’s National Team players on the Breakers this season (Kristie Mewis and Alyssa Naeher are the other two). O’Reilly, who recently earned her 200th cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team, scored five goals and added six assists in 2013.
In addition to the returning core of Breakers veterans, the team added several key players in the offseason, including former Boston College star and Hanson, Mass. native and current USWNT midfielder Kristie Mewis, Australian striker Lisa De Vanna, Canadian midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, and former Breakers defender Courtney Jones.
This year’s coaching staff has a new look, but features familiar faces. Tom Durkin will lead the club in his first year as head coach. He’s previously coached and overseen the girls USYSA Region 1 Olympic Development Program, and the USASA Region III team, where he selected, prepared, and coached the women’s amateur team in national training camp and tournaments. Durkin also served as the assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Major League Soccer and worked as academy director for IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. Whitehill returns as a player/coach and will be one of two assistant coaches on the Breakers staff. The other - Ashley Phillips - is a former Boston Breaker, most recently playing in the 2013 NWSL season. Phillips also will serve as the club’s goalkeeper coach.
The Boston Breakers open the 2014 NWSL season on Sunday, April 13, at Seattle Reign FC (7 p.m. ET start) and return to Boston on Sunday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. ET to face the Houston Dash in their 2014 home opener. All Breakers home games will be played at Harvard Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.
BOSTON BREAKERS 2014 ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jami Kranich (Villanova), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (5): Jazmyne Avant (Boston Breakers), Courtney Jones (FC Kansas City) Julie King (Boston Breakers), Chelsea Stewart (Canadian National Team/UCLA), Cat Whitehill (Boston Breakers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Bianca D'Agostino (Boston Breakers), Maddy Evans (Boston Breakers), Ashley Grove (WNY Flash), Kaylyn Kyle (Seattle Reign FC), Joanna Lohman (Boston Breakers), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Lianne Sanderson (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (5): Lisa De Vanna (Sky Blue FC), Nkem Ezurike (Michigan), Mollie Pathman (Duke), Jazmine Reeves (Virginia Tech), Katie Schoepfer (Boston Breakers)