On Tuesday, midfielder Bianca D'Agostino shocked Breakers nation by announcing her retirement, a decision that follows a busy week of roster moves. The former U.S. Youth International appeared in 16 matches last season.
"I am extremely thankful for the many opportunities the sport of soccer has afforded me throughout my life," D'Agostino said. "To have competed at the collegiate, national and professional levels is a dream come true. The relationships I've established with teammates and coaches are life long and I will forever cherish them."
D'Agostino, 25, returned to the field in 2014 after missing the entire 2013 season with a partially-torn ACL. The injury sidelined the Penn State product during her first season with the NWSL Breakers; in 2012, the Longmeadow, Mass. native scored one goal in 1,082 minutes for the WPSL Breakers.
"My sincerest thank you goes to my parents and brothers who not only introduced me to the sport, but always challenged me to be my best and respect the game and everyone involved," D'Agostino added. "I would also like to thank my fiancée, who has shown me great support. Although, I am closing this chapter in my life, I am very excited about the future!"
Though fans may immediately turn to long-term fitness as the cause of D'Agostino's retirement--the midfielder underwent extensive surgery and rehabilitation during the 2013 season--she appeared healthy throughout the course of 2014, even appearing in the team's final match against Hosuton. After eight seasons of amateur and professional play, D'Agostino has simply decided to hang up her cleats, get married, and pursue life beyond soccer.
The release of midfielder Joanna Lohman, however, adds a new hitch to the story. Lohman and D'Agostino often joined the midfield off the bench; with players both gone, the Breakers will need to add a least one midfielder to feature alongside Maddy Evans and Nikki Washington. Because the club has additional needs--particularly along the back line--look for GM Lee Billiard to use the second roster spot elsewhere.
From everybody at the Bent Musket, we wish Bianca a healthy future away from the beautiful game.