Throughout an adverse-yet-always-exciting inaugural season, the Breakers made headlines around the NWSL world. Today, less than a week shy of a new calendar year, we've decided to review the Breakers' season, counting down the five most influential headlines from 2013.
Remember when the Breakers...
5. Lost Kyah Simon to a season-ending ACL tear - In October, shortly after acquiring attacking player Courtney Jones, the Breakers said goodbye to forward Kyah Simon. The Australian international tore her ACL during a friendly with the U.S. National Team, all but eliminating her chance of playing next season. A future (unexpected) roster move forced the Breakers to scramble for an attacking replacement. Simon, on her injury: "I'm grateful to have such an experienced support staff around me to already have my rehab and recovery process underway, and I look forward to coming back stronger than before."
4. Erupted for five goals in a rout of Washington - After dropping a pair of matches with post-season implications, the Breakers responded by overpowering the lifeless Spirit. Goals from Mariah Nogueira, Lianne Sanderson, Heather O'Reilly, Sydney Leroux and Cat Whitehill capped a come-from-behind victory, placing the Breakers back in the playoff picture. The late July meeting showcased the potential of Boston's deep attack.
3. Stayed alive in playoff hunt following come-from-behind victory over Portland - In a must-win situation hosting powerhouse Portland, the Breakers overcame a late 1-0 deficit to defeat the Thorns. A goal from Lianne Sanderson in the 68th minute set the stage for Heather O'Reilly's 86th minute game-winner, a poised, one-on-one finish that sent Dilboy stadium into a frenzy. Though a victory by Western New York would later eliminate the Breakers from playoff contention, the team's emphatic victory served as a prideful last match in Somerville. O'Reilly, on her team's victory: "We're a resilient bunch. We're gritty, and were going to fight for each other. It's cool to see the work pay off in big moments like it did tonight."
2. Fired Head Coach Lisa Cole and hired Tom Durkin - Mixed results led GM Lee Billiard to move away from Head Coach Lisa Cole, instead turning to Whitehill as an end-of-season interim option. Before long, the team hired academy-level legend Tom Durkin to replace Cole, with Whitehill and former backup goalkeeper Ashley Phillips joining as assistant coaches. Durkin immediately went to work formulating his roster ahead of the 2014 season. Durkin, on his new squad: "I found these ladies to be excellent role models and ambassadors for their sport and league. Their willingness to go above and beyond to see the league and the sport flourish in the U.S. was compelling, and I am proud to be part of it."
1. Traded iconic forward Sydney Leroux for midfielder Kristie Mewis - Though this ranking serves as no surprise, the Breakers made international headlines when they traded goal-scoring phenom Sydney Leroux. The U.S. International scored 11 goals for the Breakers last season, good enough for second on the NWSL table, and served as the face of Lee Billiard's franchise. In return, Boston received up-and-coming midfielder Kristie Mewis, a Hanson, Mass. Native and graduate of Boston College. Optimism over the addition of Mewis could not overshadow the loss of a local legend. Leroux, on her departure: ‘"I truly enjoyed my time in Boston and have many great memories, but I had a strong desire to be closer to my family in the Pacific Northwest. While I am sad to leave the Breakers, I appreciate their accommodating of my request and wish everyone well."
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