The Breakers added depth at every position during Friday's NWSL College Draft, selecting six players ahead of the team's sophomore season.
In the first round, the Breakers followed our pre-draft projection, selecting University of Michigan standout forward Nkem Ezurike, an NSCAA All-American in 2013. Ezurike will join Duke defender/midfielder Natasha Anasi, Virginia Tech forward Jazmine Reeves, Duke forward Mollie Pathman, Villanova goalkeeper Jami Kranich and Duke midfielder/forward Kim DeCesare as Breakers' freshman in 2014.
8. Nkem Ezurike, Forward, Michigan
Ezurike, an established Canadian International, will immediately contribute to the Breaker's front line, working to fill holes left by Sydney Leroux (trade) and Kyah Simon (injury). The physical-yet-quick forward graduated with more goals (49) and points (118) than any Michigan player to date.
"I'm so excited," said Ezurike. "I think it'll be a great opportunity to play for Boston. [The NWSL] is a big step up from the college level, and I'm excited to see how it is."
13. Natasha Anasi, Defender/Midfielder, Duke
Featuring as an attack-minded wing back, and occasionally as an attack-minded outside midfielder, Anasi will provide versatility along Tom Durkin's back line. The two-time All-American also touts value in the air, frequently playing much larger than her size (5'6").
"I am super excited," Anasi said. "Boston is a great organization. I'm really excited to be a part of it."
21. Jazmine Reeves, Forward, Virginia Tech
Reeves scored 11 goals and contributed five assists for the Hokies last season, capping an astounding senior campaign that led to First Team All-American honors. ESPN named Reeves "a potential steal" after joining the Breakers in round three.
"It's awesome" Reeves began. "Boston is a beautiful city. I appreciate the opportunity to play for the Breakers. I'm excited about the future."
23. Mollie Pathman, Forward, Duke
In 87 career games with the Blue Devils, Pathman scored 17 goals and added 29 assists. The Durham, N.C. native also featured for the U.S. Women during the 2012 U-20 World Cup, earning first place honors.
"I am so excited, honored, and humbled to be part of such an amazing organization," Pathman said. "It's so exciting that some of my best friends get to come along with me."
32. Jami Kranich, Goalkeeper, Villanova
Kranich momentarily added a third goalkeeper to Boston's corps, joining the Breakers after a 12-shutout season at Villanova. The 2012 Third Team All-BIG EAST selection also featured in the 2012 U-20 World Cup, playing beside Pathman for the U.S. Women.
"I'm very excited to be joining the Breakers," Kranich said. "I'm excited to be close to home and play with some great players on the team."
34.Kim DeCesare, Midfielder/Forward, Duke
Breakers trade goalkeeper Michelle Betos to Portland, receive No. 34 pick and a second round pick in 2015
The Breakers traded Betos, who never appeared for the team following an off-season trade, for DeCasare, the third Duke graduate and fourth attacking player selected by Boston. DeCasare scored 29 goals and added 15 assists for the Blue Devils last season.
"It's just a privelage and there's so much excitment to getting drafted," DeCesare said. "I'm extremely excited. I love Boston. And with my (Duke) teammates, it can't get much better than that."
Stay tuned for in-depth analysis of the Breakers 2014 draft selections.