Last month the Boston Breakers traded United States international striker Sydney Leroux to the Seattle Reign, and left questions as to who would be scoring goals for the Breakers in 2014.
Today, that question got it's first answer, as the Breakers announced the signing of striker Melissa Ortiz of the Columbia Women's National Team. Ortiz's last club was Reykjavik FC in the Pepsi Deildin, Iceland's top flight, and per club and league policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. She will not take up one of the club's international roster spots due to her U.S. citizenship.
"I am very pleased we are bringing Melissa to Boston. I believe we have picked up a gem of a player," Breakers general manager Lee Billiard said. "She's young in age, but very experienced on the field due to her national team endeavors, and she's someone with a good record of goal scoring."
A West Palm Beach, Fla. native, Ortiz, 23, has scored four goals in ten international appearances with Columbia which includes two games in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Ortiz also played five games with the Colombian U-20 Women's team at the 2010 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Germany, scoring her teams only goal in a 3-1 defeat to the hosts in the group stage. The Columbia U-20 team finished 4th at the 2010 U-20 World Cup, losing in the semifinals to Nigeria and the consolation game to South Korea.
"She is a solid physical presence who can play in a number of attacking roles, just a pure attacking player, who I believe, under the tutelage of head coach Tom Durkin, will be a goal-scoring threat here in Boston," Billiard said.
A four-year starter at Lynn University in Florida, Ortiz scored 44 goals (eighth most in school history) and tallied 24 assists. Ortiz is also fourth all-time in game-winning goals (13), third in minutes played (5,635) and first in shots on goal (157) at Lynn.
Ortiz is just the latest transaction the Breakers have made in a busy offseason. Aside from the Leroux trade, in which the Breakers received midfield Kristie Mewis, goalkeeper Michelle Betos and draft picks, the Breakers have also signed forward Courtney Jones and traded for Kaylyn Kyle among other moves.
Check out TBM's Breaker's Section for all the stories and analysis from the 2014 offseason.
- Boston Breakers Sign Colombian International Striker Melissa Ortiz
- Projecting the 2014 NWSL College Draft: The Breakers in Round One
- Jose Goncalves Named MLS Best XI Defender for 2013
- The 3rd Yellow - Why Isn't Mark Geiger Refereeing MLS Cup 2013?
- Revs Defender Kevin Alston Named MLS Comeback Player of the Year