On Monday morning, following drawn-out discussions about her NWSL future, Breakers' forward Jazmine Reeves announced her retirement from professional soccer. The 22-year-old forward will leave the beautiful game to join e-commerce giant Amazon.
"Leaving Boston was definitely one of the harder decisions I have had to make," Reeves said. "I really enjoyed my time with the Breakers, and I am very thankful for the experience. When I was presented with the opportunity to work for such an amazing company in Amazon, I felt it was something that I simply could not pass up."
In one season with the Breakers, Reeves, an accomplished Virginia Tech alum, scored seven goals and added one assist in 17 appearances (13 starts). She earned Breakers Rookie of the Year honors for her standout freshman campaign.
"With this being said, the Breakers organization and fans will always be special to me," Reeves added. "I would like to thank everyone who had a part in making it something that I will never forget."
General manager Lee Billiard added, "Obviously, we are very disappointed to be losing Jazmine, but we understand what a great opportunity she has been presented with at Amazon.
Following an impressive college career and rookie season in the NWSL, we had hoped to bring her back this season but should she ever wish to return, there will always be a place for her with the Breakers. We wish her all the best."
Reeves' retirement, an alarming and devastating development, sends the Breakers attack into a state of uncertainty. Her decision does, however, shed light on Billiard's comments from earlier in the week, when the General Manager alluded to the addition of a high-caliber forward. Though this player-to-be-named will likely join the squad as Reeves' direct replacement, it seems unlikely that she will replicate Reeves' combination of youth, speed and finishing ability. Much like the unforeseen loss of Sydney Leroux in 2013, the Breakers must find a way to regroup and salvage a seemingly uncontrollable situation.
If, by some unexpected circumstance, Billiard's foreshadow does not play out, second-year attackers Mollie Pathman and Nkem Ezurike will fall under tremendous pressure. Neither player developed as rapidly as Reeves and, as a result, played in her shadow for much of the 2014 season. For the Breakers to replicate their offensive output, Billiard must rebuild quickly.
Ahead of a season with mounting expectations, the Breakers face an uphill battle, entering 2014 without veteran Heather O'Reilly and youngster Reeves. Billiard better get climbing.