After several months of preparation by the coaching staff and six weeks of intense training on the field by the players, the Boston Breakers are set to open the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole has announced her 18-player roster set for Sunday’s opener against the Washington Spirit.
Cole returns for her second season as the Breakers head coach. In 2012, Cole led the Breakers to the WPSL Elite regular season title, compiling the best win-loss record in franchise history: 11-3. Cole began her coaching career with the Breakers in 2009 in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) as an assistant coach under Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco. Joining Cole this season on the staff is Assistant Coach Maren Rojas, the former University of Virginia assistant coach, Bowdoin College head coach, and most recently the assistant coach at Boston College.
"I think our roster has come together nicely," Cole said. "We have been able to add experience in goal by picking up Ashley Phillips. Between her and a young Santiago, I believe we have addressed the biggest hole we had going into preseason. I am very excited about the options we have in attack. We will be very exciting up top and hope that this will lead to goals. Our defense is anchored by two of the best center backs in the league in Kia McNeil and Cat Whitehill. So, overall, I am pleased with where we are going into the start of the season. Injuries and retirement have given us some question marks wide in the back but (Rhian) Wilkinson gives us international experience on the right."
After weeks of preparing the team, Cole is looking forward to the start of the season.
"I am just excited to see this team continue to improve and develop. Every time we have gotten a chance to play we have become more familiar with each other and the system," Cole said. "We want to go after the win of course, but Sunday will be the first time we have had all our players together and on the field at the same time, so I want us to take on the challenges the game brings and to go out and give our fans a fun opening day win."
In addition to the 18-player roster, three players are expected to arrive in training over the next few weeks: draft pick Maddy Evans (Penn State) and Mexico Women’s National Team forward Anisa Guajardo (Pepperdine University). Both are finishing up their semesters at their respective schools and will join the team once their studies are complete. Midfielder Jessica Luscinski, who played for the Breakers in 2012, is rehabbing an ankle injury and will soon report to camp for a trial. The Breakers No. 1 draft pick in this year’s NWSL College Draft - Casey Short (Florida State) - is out for the season with a torn ACL, but Boston retains Short’s rights. She is expected to join the club in Boston this season but will not play due to injury.
The Breakers open the 2013 NWSL season Sunday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m., at home - Dilboy Stadium in Somerville - against the Washington Spirit. Tickets are available by visiting www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.