The Boston Breakers finished the year 6-16-2, missing the playoffs for a second-straight year and will hope that the third time is a charm for 2015.
The Breakers hold the final selection in the first round after trading away their first pick in the first round (No. 2 overall) to Sky Blue FC. The club holds seven picks with only three in the first two rounds with four coming in the latter rounds combined.
One of the brightest spots for the Breakers in an otherwise disappointing season was the play of goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. After returning from Germany midway through the 2013 season, Naeher played every minute between the pipes during the Breakers’ 2014 season. Her play earned her call-ups to the U.S. women’s national team this fall and she earned her first cap on December 18 vs. Argentina.
With a slew of players who can play up top, they have yet to find a consistent scorer. Sydney Leroux (11 goals, 2013) and Heather O’Reilly (9 goals, 2014) each led the club in scoring and each were traded during following offseason. After losing Leroux, the Breakers struggled to replicate consistent goal scoring and time will tell if the O’Reilly trade brings the same struggles.
Kristie Mewis was acquired in the trade that sent Leroux across the country and while she put up modest numbers – 3 goals and 2 assists – she has potential to be a dangerous player in the midfield.
The former No. 3 overall pick has been in camps with the U.S. women throughout 2014 though and could potentially miss significant chunks of the season while on national team duty. For a club that is already thin in the midfield, it could leave the Breakers on the outside of the playoff picture for a third year.
The good news for Boston is that there are a significant number of midfielders coming out of the draft. While the Breakers won’t have the luxury of selecting in the top five picks, there will be several versatile midfield options that remain: Danielle Colaprico (M/D, Virginia), Daphne Corboz (M, Georgetown), Caprice Dydasco (M/D, UCLA), Shea Groom (F/M, Texas A&M), Kristin Grubka (M/D, Florida State), Jaelene Hinkle (M/D, Texas Tech), Stephanie McCaffery (F/M, Boston College) and Megan Oyster (M/D, UCLA).
Key Stats: 53 goals allowed, 37 goals scored
Key Losses: Lianne Sanderson (F, staying in England), Jazmine Reeves (F, retired), Heather O’Reilly (F, traded to Kansas City), Bianca D’agostina (M, retired), Joanna Lohman (M, waived)
Additions: Ketlen Wiggers (F), Francielle (M), Andressa Alves (F), Amy Barczuk (D), Kassey Kallman (D), Morgan Marlborough (F), Suzane Pires (F).
For a team that finished fifth in goals scored, the Breakers have had to make numerous roster moves to keep up with that number. After trading away O’Reilly who played a role in 14 goals (nine scored and five assisted) and the losses of Reeves and Sanderson, the Breakers return just 16 goals scored.
While the Breakers traded away O’Reilly, the acquisitions of Marlborough and Kallman will help address major needs on defense and a replacement of goals. With goals a major need, the Breakers brought in a quartet of Brazilians (Ketlen, Francielle, Andressa, and Pires) whose chemistry Boston will rely upon.
Draft Picks held: No. 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 29, 33