With his 2015 roster looking progressively more defined, Breakers General Manage Lee Billiard re-signed a trio of familiar faces: midfielder Nikki Washington, defender Rachel Wood and forward Mollie Pathman.
Washington, the 26-year-old veteran of the group, joined the Breakers in April following a trade for defensive midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, who outstayed her welcome in Boston after just two matches. Washington, who struggled to find a niche in Tom Durkin's midfield for the majority of the season, ultimately joined the back line, where she worked to protect a porous defensive unit. In 2015, she figures to play a utility role, adding depth to the midfield while serving as an emergency center back.
Wood, 24, jumpstarted her NWSL career in July, when the Breakers Reserves standout joined the senior club in the heart of a discouraging season. She served as a bright spot for much of her 2014 campaign, showing well in seven late-summer starts. Though Wood will not likely earn a starting spot out the gate, she offers enough upside and raw talent to earn minutes off the bench, fighting to stand out among a crowd of role-playing defenders. Expect the UC-Irvine product to become a regular contributor by summer 2015.
Coming off an up-and-down freshman campaign, rookie Mollie Pathman, 22, will look to break onto the NWSL stage next season. The former Duke Blue Devil spent the 2014 off-season with Cypriot First-Division champions Apollon Limassol, where she appeared in two Champions League matches. Stateside, Pathman started 18 matches for the royal and white, notching one assist in 1,519 minutes. The Chapel Hill native has shown flashes of her collegiate productivity, particularly during the 2014 pre-season, though her talent has yet to translate into goals. In 2015, Pathman will likely join the attack off the bench, using her versatility to feature as a wide midfielder and pacey forward.
After rebuilding a roster of elite players, from Brazilian forward Andressa Alves to up-and-coming defender Kassey Kallman, Billiard targeted depth on Monday, solidifying a trio of key role players.