The Boston Breakers begin the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League season at home – Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Massachusetts – Sunday night, taking on the Washington Spirit.
Both teams boast a wealth of international talent, including U.S. Women’s National Team gold medalists Heather O’Reilly and Sydney Leroux for the Breakers. Boston’s roster also features veteran Canadian defender and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Rhian Wilkinson, last year’s leading scorer and Australian international striker Kyah Simon, and Olympic gold medalist defender Cat Whitehill.
The Spirit feature U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger, who played for the U.S. in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and keeper Ashlyn Harris, who has trained regularly with the U.S. for the past two years. The Spirit also come to town with a trio of Canadians, including midfielder Diana Matheson, who recently earned her 150th cap for Canada, former Breakers defender Candace Chapman, and defender Robyn Gayle. The Spirit have depth in the midfield, which includes Lori Lindsey, capped more than 30 times for the U.S.
"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," Breakers Head Coach Lisa 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."
"We don’t know much about the Spirit because like all teams they have had players in and out of camp," Cole said. "They will be a better team on Sunday than they have been in any of the scrimmages they have played and we need to be prepared to deal with some young, but talented front runners. They have experience in the midfield with (Diana) Matheson and (Lori) Lindsey. Then, (Ali) Krieger will make a big difference for them in the back. It is a good first matchup for both teams."
Friday night at We Got Soccer in Foxboro, Mass., the Breakers unveiled their 2013 NWSL jerseys, sponsored by Ocean Spray. More than 250 people were in attendance, including season ticket holder and VIPs. Keeper Cecilia Santiago, defender Cat Whitehill, and forward Sydney Leroux modeled the uniforms.
Photo by Mike Gridley
"The event was great night," Boston Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard said. "We had a lot of very excited and passionate fans come out to We Got Soccer. Not only did fans meet the players, they got to see the unveiling of our new uniforms and the unveiling of our jersey sponsor, Ocean Spray. It was a really fun evening for players, fans, coaches, and front office staff."