Boston Breakers Soccer Returns to Somerville in April
Now part of the new National Women's Soccer League, the Boston Breakers come back to Somerville's Dilboy Stadium for the 2013 season.
The Boston Breakers, a top women's soccer team, returns to Somerville this spring after an exciting offseason for the team and for women's pro soccer in the Unites States.
When the Breakers open their season April 14 at Dilboy Stadium, they'll be part of a new professional women's soccer league, and their ties to Somerville will be even stronger.
The new National Women's Soccer League
The Breakers are now part of an eight-team league, called the National Women's Soccer League, which formed in November, 2012, and is designed to expand women's soccer in the United States.
The league is in many ways a response to some of the trouble's U.S. women's soccer has had in the past, including the disintegration of the Women's Professional Soccer league, which suspended play in 2012, sending top-level teams like the Boston Breakers into the lower-level Women's Premier Soccer League.
This year, the Breakers are "all pro," explained Ryan Wood, a spokesperson for the team. "As opposed to last year when it was semi-pro."
Top national players
The new league is administered by U.S. Soccer—the national governing body for the sport—and part of its model is the allocation of national-team players from the United States, Canada and Mexico to the league's eight teams.
Heather O’Reilly, Heather Mitts and Sydney Leroux, from the U.S. National Team, will play for the Breakers this season, along with Rhian Wilkinson and Adriana Leon from the Canadian national team and Anisa Guajardo and Cecilia Santiago from the Mexican national team.
Leroux, a forward, is "one of the rising stars of the U.S. team," Wood said. "We're excited to have her on the team."
One of U.S. soccer's most well-known players, goalkeeper Hope Solo, was allocated to the Seattle Reign. A recent wrist surgery means she'll miss three to four months of play, according to ESPN. It's uncertain if Solo will be able to play when Seattle comes to Somerville on June 26.
Making Somerville a home
The team has also reaffirmed its commitment to Somerville.
"We just loved the community, the way the community has embraced us," Wood said.
The team chose Dilboy Stadium as its home venue last season after spending years playing at Harvard Stadium in Allston.
That Dilboy is a smaller stadium appears to be part of the new league's strategy to rely on more affordable venues.
Wood said that when the Breakers came to Somerville last year, "We had a huge boost in attendance and support from the Somerville community."
All home games were sold out, he said, with 15,000 fans walking through the gates for every game. "We had the highest attendance in the league," he said.
In response to the Breakers' popularity, this year the team is adding 1,000 seats to the stadium for home games.
The Boston Breakers have also moved their offices from Norwood to new digs in Somerville—they're at 8 Medford St., near Twin City Plaza and Target.
"We wanted to be closer" to Dilboy, Wood said.
The team also plans to be out and about in the Somerville community. "We're going to have a lot of camps and clinics in the area that the players are going to run," he said.
Wood also said the team is looking for game-day volunteers, who will do things like help set up the field, man the "fan zone," run the merchandise table and serve as ball boys and ball girls.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the Breakers' volunteer coordinator, David Kimmleman, at firstname.lastname@example.org. There's a volunteer meeting at Dilboy Stadium on March 21 at 6:30 p.m.