On Monday, the Breakers introduced the newest piece to their rebuilding puzzle: Francielle Manoel Alberto, a well-traveled Brazilian International and U.S. professional. Francielle figures to contribute out of the gate in royal and white, providing both youth and veteran experience.
"Francielle is a fantastic addition to the roster. She's a very talented and known player who has gained a tremendous amount of experience for such a young player," General Manager Lee Billiard said. "Her ability on the field is tremendous, and she will add a lot of creativity and attacking threat to this new-look roster. I am very excited to see her play in the NWSL in a Boston Breakers jersey."
At just 25 years old, the Sao Paulo native has already made an impact for both club and country. After debuting for then-WPS club Sky Blue F.C., and contributing to the team's 2009 championship run, she joined Brazilian top-flight club Sao Jose, where she won major championships in 2013 and 2014. On the international stage, Francielle featured for the Brazilian National Team during the 2011 World Cup, and won a silver medal during the 2008 Summer Olympics. The talented midfielder will, without question, join Tom Durkin's side with the experience to immediately succeed.
On the field, Francielle will vie for a starting position, likely joining Kristie Mewis and Lianne Sanderson in the middle of the park. If she does start on day one, Francielle will be asked to fill Heather O'Reilly's boots, a tall order for any incoming player. Somebody will need to account for the U.S. International's nine goals and five assists; if the Brazilian supports her impressive resume, and meets the lofty expectations of the Breakers faithful, Durkin may benefit from an unexpectedly-elite midfield.
Even in the midst of increasing pressure, Francielle with have the opportunity to kickstart a new era in Boston, pairing with up-and-coming midfielder Mewis to dig Durkin & Co. out of the NWSL cellar.