ROOKIE SPOTLIGHT - Suzane Pires

(July 16, 2015) - Making a professional debut is daunting enough, but doing so in front of nearly 14,000 is taking it to another level. That’s what Suzane Pires experienced in her Boston Breakers debut, starting and playing 61 minutes in this year’s season opener at Portland.

(July 16, 2015) - Making a professional debut is daunting enough, but doing so in front of nearly 14,000 is taking it to another level. That’s what Suzane Pires experienced in her Boston Breakers debut, starting and playing 61 minutes in this year’s season opener at Portland.

“That day was the day I realized, ‘I’m a professional soccer play,’” said Pires, who played in front of a fraction of that amount while attending Southern Connecticut State University. “It hadn’t clicked until that day, the minute you stepped on the field in front of 15,000 people, it’s something I can’t even describe.”

Suzane Pires in her professional debut in Portland

Pires is unlike the three other rookies this season. Stephanie McCaffrey, Stephanie Verdoia, and Lauren Lazo all graduated college in 2015. The midfielder from Sao Paulo, Brazil graduated from Southern Connecticut in 2014. She spent the 2014 summer playing for the Boston Breakers Reserve Team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), where she fine-tuned her game and took it to another level.

“It’s so important, especially for me. I felt like I really needed that year to develop to be in the professional team. Frankie (D’Agostino), the coach for the Reserve team, he knew what I needed to improve on. Even when I was done with the Reserve season, he kept in touch with me, telling me what to work on, so it’s really helpful. It’s a really healthy environment to be in.”

With the Reserves in 2014, Pires scored six goals and tallied five assists, helping to lead the team to the top of the WPSL New England Division. Just two months after the WPSL season ended, Pires signed a professional contract with the Breakers.

Suzane Pires has played in nine matches this season (Photo By Mike Gridley)

“My experience has been great. All the girls are really friendly. When they know it’s your first year, they’re always trying to talk to you and help you go through everything that happens during the season,” Pires said. “I’m really happy to be here, and I’ve learned so much so far.”

At Southern Connecticut State University, Pires scored 25 goals and added 13 assists and was named to the 2013 NSCAA All-American Third Team as a senior.

Prior to Southern Connecticut, Pires was a member of several title-winning teams, including one that won the Sao Paulo Futsal Championship in 2005. She attended International School of Stuttgart in Germany. In one of the games she played there, Pires scored nine of the team's 10 goals in a 10-0 win.

Now, Pires looks to contribute during the Breakers push for the playoffs. Through 11 matches, Pires has appeared in nine games for the Breakers, making three starts and logging 240 minutes.

“I’ve learned a lot here. It’s quicker and faster,” Pires said. “You learn all these little things that matter at this level that didn’t matter as much before.”

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