One year after waving goodbye to international superstar Sydney Leroux, and welcoming a year of heated criticism, the Breakers traded yet another American legend: midfielder Heather O'Reilly. On Monday morning, the Breakers dealt O'Reilly for 2014 draft picks Kassey Kallman and Morgan Marlborough, replacing the veteran sensation with a pair of talented youngsters.
"I met with our managing partner and coaching staff to go over our philosophy for developing our roster for 2015 and, more importantly, beyond," Boston Breakers general manager Lee Billiard said. "We have two great young players in Kassey and Morgan coming in, who are coming off winning a championship with F.C. Kansas City. I am excited to see them in a Breakers uniform and the direction we are going as an organization."
Kallman, who many believed to be one of Billiard's top targets in the 2014 draft, joined F.C. Kansas City as the No. 5 overall pick. In 2014, the former Florida State standout started 18 matches (1,479 minutes) while recording a lone assist. More importantly, Kallman showcased the skill necessary to serve as an everyday defender with much-needed versatility. She will immediately benefit a back line that conceded a league record 53 goals in 2014.
Marlborough, the No. 12 pick in the 2014 draft, benefits from a strong and sturdy six-foot frame. Last season, the Santa Clara alum scored two goals in limited minutes, showing glimpses of her center forward skillset.
For the reigning 2014 NWSL Champions, the move to acquire O'Reilly, who scored 14 goals while contributing 11 assists in two NWSL seasons with the Breakers, will work to bolster Vlatko Andonovski's loaded roster of veteran attackers. O'Reilly will join Lauren Holiday and Amy Rodriguez on an FCKC club that wants to win now, as they did last season. For Billiard, however, the gutsy decision to trade O'Reilly fulfills a different need: spreading young talent throughout a roster with significant holes. Both Kallman and Marlborough figure to start out of the gate, pairing with up-and-coming talent in Jazmine Reeves, Mollie Pathman and Nkem Ezurike. The Breakers do not have the pieces to win now; Kallman and Marlborough will help them win tomorrow.
Stay tuned for continued analysis as the Breakers newest additions settle into their roles with the royal and white.