Breakers Sign Brazilian Forward Ketlen Wiggers
Late last week, the Breakers added a third Brazilian international to their attacking corps, signing 22-year-old forward Ketlen Wiggers. The rising star first appeared in Brazil's top-flight as a fifteen year-old with Santos Futebol Cluba, where she won six major championships, both nationally and internationally. In 2011, Wiggers earned her first cap with the Brazilian senior squad, playing 90 minutes in a scoreless draw against Canada.
Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard praised the Breakers' newest forward, stating:
"Ketlen is tremendous with the ball at her feet. Her balance and close control when running with the ball is exceptional, and she is capable of scoring goals from a variety of positions on the field, which adds more dimensions to our attacking threat in 2015."
He continued to add, "She is another technically gifted player who will be exciting to watch, and another player with experience above her years."
With her best soccer seemingly ahead, Wiggers will immediately contribute to a Breakers' attack that lost much of its "punch" this offseason. Now, Wiggers and fellow Brazilian International Andressa Alves da Silva figure to feature up top for Tom Durkin's club, which suddenly looks deep at the forward position. Nkem Ezurike and Katie Schoepfer will also vie for a starting spot in 2015, creating a highly-coveted log jam of forwards.
By signing Wiggers, Billiard has uncovered a strong complement to Alves, who also joins the Breakers with high praise. Wiggers' technical ability and finishing prowess seemingly mirrors Alves' skillset, giving the Breakers a dynamic 1-2 punch in front of goal. If the pair contributes to their potential--or even close to their potential--the Breakers will tout one of the stronger attack's in women's soccer.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher Joins USWNT
Ahead of the International Tournament of Brasilia, a four-team competition based in Brazil's soccer-rich capital, U.S. National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis named her 24-player roster. Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made the cut.
Ellis invited all 20 players from CONCACAF Qualifying and, to round out her roster, included Naeher, Crystal Dunn, Lori Chalupny and Samantha Mewis, sister of Breakers' midfielder Kristie Mewis.
Naeher will likely serve as the third goalkeeper on Ellis' 24-player roster, with Seattle's Hope Solo and Washington's Ashlyn Harris occupying the top spots. Without question, Naeher outshined her USWNT counterparts in 2014, recording 106 saves in 24 matches before earning Goalkeeper of the Year honors. The Penn State alum will look to build upon her standout campaign in Brazil, when the U.S. plays a round robin against China, Brazil and Argentina.
For a full match schedule, visit USSoccer.com.
2015 NWSL Draft Scheduled for January 16
In six short weeks, the Breakers will travel to Philadelphia for the 2015 NWSL Draft, participating in the league's third college selection show. Lee Billiard and his staff will look to replicate a promising 2014 showing, when the team added forwards Jazmine Reeves, Nkem Ezurike and Mollie Pathman. The rookie trio contributed nine goals and two assists last season.
After swapping first round picks with the defending-champion Seattle Reign, the Breakers will make the final selection (ninth overall) of the first round. They do, however, own four picks in the final two rounds: 11th, 14th, 29th and 33rd overall.
To view the complete 2015 NWSL Draft order, visit NWSLSoccer.com.