One thing is certain - the Boston Breakers will be on the field in 2013. The final details of the new league are being worked on around the clock, and Tuesday night, U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati provided some insight on the future.
Coming off the heels of winning Olympic gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the U.S. Women’s National Team continued its Fan Tribute Tour Tuesday night in East Hartford, Conn., drawing with Germany, 2-2. The game was significant in more ways than one. Not only did it feature the No. 1 and 2 teams in the world, Breakers midfielder Heather O’Reilly earned her 175th international cap with her start Tuesday night.
The U.S. played to a 1-1 tie against Germany over the weekend in Chicago. The clash of the two titans provided plenty of action on the field. Off the field, Gulati and a group of owners and investors are hard at work on making a new league in 2013 closer to a reality.
Speaking to NBC Sports Network Analyst and former Breaker Kate Markgraf, Gulati fielded questions about the new professional women’s soccer league currently in the works.
"We’ve been working very hard on that with a number of investors and our friends in the CSA (Canadian Soccer Association), and I think over the next 10 days, we’ll have some interesting things to say," said Gulati, who also noted that the list of candidates to take over for Pia Sundhage as new head coach for the U.S. has been narrowed down to seven and should be announced within the same time frame.
When asked further about the new professional league, Gulati stressed the need for having a domestic league in the U.S.
"It’s very important that we’ve got a place to play, not only for this group of (U.S. Women’s National Team) players, but for the next 20, 40, and 60, and I think we’ll accomplish that," he said.
Markgraf inquired about U.S. players heading overseas to play, something a handful of them have done already, including former Breaker Meghan Klingenberg (an alternate on the 2012 Olympic team), who currently plays for Swedish club Tyresö in the top-flight Damallsvenskan league. Other players in the U.S. National Team pool - Christen Press, Ingrid Wells, and Yael Averbuch - also are playing in the Damallsvenskan. That season ends Nov. 3. Gulati hopes that U.S. players remain in the states to play in the new league in 2013.
"We’re certainly going to encourage them to be part of this league, and from everything I’ve heard from them and the people that represent them (and) most of them want to do just that," he said. "They want to help us build the game in the United States. They want to be available to our new (U.S.) coach for as many games as we want them to play. So I think you’ll see most of them staying home (to play in the new league)."
Speaking to the media at a press conference in early October, Gulati stated: "What we’re looking at is a different sort of participation than we’ve had in the past, which has primarily been as a sanctioning, regulatory body. There is every possibility that we would have a more active role in the management and funding of this league. What form that takes is still being discussed but a big part of our participation would be that the national team players would play in this league and perhaps be funded directly by U.S. Soccer. (The teams are) spread across the country. There are some former professional (WPS) teams that are obviously part of that group, some current MLS teams investor-operators are part of that group and we expect to have that process pretty much completed by the end of October as well."
The Breakers are currently selling season memberships for the 2013 season. More information can be found on our website or you can purchase them directly at our online ticketing office. The Breakers will once again play their home games at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. Last season, Boston’s most successful in franchise history, the Breakers won the WPSL Elite regular season championship and sold out all seven home games, averaging more than 2,000 fans per game.