Breakers seek host families for 2013 season

Read a first-hand account of what it's like to host a Breaker

 Over the past few years, host families involved with the program have helped the Breakers become one of the most “player-friendly” markets in professional women’s soccer. Host families are an essential component of the Boston Breakers’ family. They are invaluable to our organization, and we are extremely grateful for the Boston area’s hospitality; it has been truly amazing.

Over the past few years, host families involved with the program have helped the Breakers become one of the most “player-friendly” markets in professional women’s soccer. Host families are an essential component of the Boston Breakers’ family. They are invaluable to our organization, and we are extremely grateful for the Boston area’s hospitality; it has been truly amazing.

Following the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season, we had a chance to catch up with Paul and Jen Nahas, who have hosted a number of Breakers players in the past, including Stephanie Cox, Rachel Buehler, Kelsey Davis, and Kati Jo Spisak.

As a host family, what are you responsible for, and what kinds of things do you provide to the players?

“Aside from providing a private bedroom, a (mostly) private bathroom, access to the kitchen and washer/dryer, we don’t feel ‘responsible’ for much beyond that. However, players are always welcome to eat dinner with us when they are home, and we have been known to provide rides to games and practice (and the airport). While we generally enjoy socializing, we don’t like to monopolize the players’ time and let them take the lead regarding how much time we spend together.”

Some of these players have never been in this situation before (many either live in hotels or apartments while playing professional soccer). What are the players’ first impressions?

“The players are generally more tentative than the host family about what to expect, especially as we are very used to having people stay with us. There is typically some nervousness on their part about how they’re going to like the family, the quarters, the rules, etc.”

Players have said that being a part of a host family is almost like having a second family and makes them feel like they’re back home. Has this been the case with the players you have hosted?

“We feel that Stephanie and Rachel are part of our family, and we’re confident they feel that way, too. They invited us to World Cup in Germany as part of the US Soccer Friends and Family network, and we went and hung out with their families. Their families have visited us, and we’ve visited them at their homes. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for our family, and we hope it’s been as good for the players.”

What has the experience been like with your kids and the players? From what I’ve seen with other host families, the kids and players bond and have a really good relationship.

“We have a girl who is now 16 and a boy who is 13. First off, there are things that 25-year-old women can say to your teenage daughter that a parent can just not say to her and have it be heard. The kids actually eat dinner with us when the players are around, and our son gets really excited to see their boyfriends, too. We’re pretty sure the kids like bragging that their housemates have Olympic gold medals, and we’re also sure that some people they tell don’t believe them.”

Have any of the players gone to your children’s games, practices, or other events?

“Our kids weren’t playing soccer while we had players with us, but they did come to several other events with us including our daughter’s graduation, to church, and to several parties with our friends.”

Are there any rules or regulations/house rules you have for the players?

“We’re pretty flexible about things and typically handle requests on case-by-case (such as guests). When we eat together, we do expect everyone to contribute in some way: helping cook, doing dishes, etc. Other than that, not too many hard and fast rules.”

What’s the best part about being a host family?

“We have made lifelong friends with incredible women; that is definitely the best part. Some other pretty good parts…we have outstanding role models for the kids living in the house … we get to see world class soccer and cheer for our housemates like idiots, but without being considered an over-the-top parent … we got to go to World Cup and hang out with the best women soccer players in the world and their families, and witness one of the best sporting events in history. A once-in-a-lifetime experience and something we will all cherish for a long time … we learn from them, and they learn from us. If you’re open to that, it is great.”


Like our players, our host families come in all different shapes and sizes. The Breakers are currently in search of families that are able to provide a “home-away-from-home,” whether that comes in the shape of an extra guest bedroom or an in-law apartment that might be available for the spring/summer. If you are interested in participating in the Host Family Program, please email Laura Doran at ldoran@bostonbreakers.com for more information about the process and for a Host Family Questionnaire.

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