Boston Breakers Bring Topflight Women's Soccer to Somerville
The team's roster includes Olympic gold medalists and national team players with World Cup experience.
The Boston Breakers, one of the top women's soccer teams in the country, will play their first home game at Somerville's Dilboy Stadium Friday night to a sellout crowd.
The team's roster includes players who have won Olympic Gold medals and played in World Cups with the United States National Team. Kristine Lilly, a former Breakers player and currently an assistant coach, has more caps with the U.S. National Team than any other player in U.S. soccer history—men or women. The team has players from Australia's national team, also with World Cup experience, and it's filled with up-and-coming stars who've played with the U.S. Under-23 National Team and at top college programs.
Moving to Somerville
The Breakers cwill play their home games at Dilboy this year, having played previous seasons at Harvard Stadium in Allston.
"It's great. We didn't know what we were expecting," said midfielder Leslie Osborne, captain of the team, who's played on the national team, speaking after practice on Thursday. "We're excited this is our home field this year."
Somerville benefits from women's league setback
The Boston Breakers are technically part of the Women's Professional Soccer league (WPS), the top-level women's league in the United States.
However, the WPS, which first began play in 2009, suspended its 2012 season due to a legal dispute with one of the team's owners along with other difficulties, such as a lack of investors and a strong business plan, according to ESPN.
"They decided to take the year off," said Ryan Wood, communications manager for the Breakers.
As a result, the Breakers are playing in the Women's Premier Soccer League Elite division, the next highest level of women's soccer.
"We just have to make this year work," said Osborne about this season. The WPSL Elite division includes the Western New York Flash, another top-level team from the WPS, along with other teams from Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, Indiana and New England.
The Breaker's home opener on Friday is against FC Indiana, which has a number of players from the Haitian national team. The game is already sold out, Wood said.
It plays its second home game May 26 against the Western New York Flash, which is also sold out, he said.
Don't fret. Wood said the team reserves a number of standing-room tickets to sell on game days, so there's always the opportunity to get tickets at the last moment.
With the future of the WPS up in the air, it's anyone's guess where the Breakers will be next year, so this summer's your chance to see them.
For Katie Schoepfer, a forward who's played on the national under-23 team, the move to Somerville is a good thing. "We're excited to be expanding our fan base," she said.
For more about the Boston Breakers and to get advance tickets, visit the team's website.