What would the Breakers season have been like without Kassey Kallman?
More than once she kept chaos from erupting in the box with her positioning or her tracking back or her covering for a teammate. So it's fitting that the Breakers themselves have voted Kallman their Players' Player of the Year.
Kallman was new to the team this season, but immediately earned the captain's armband. There's something to be said for a traded player getting the C from game one, with only preseason to go on. Clearly Kallman's leadership was vital from the get go.
She played every minute of every game, with no respite even when the Breakers' travel schedule grew brutal. She stepped into veteran leader Cat Whitehill's cleats after her trade from FC Kansas City and made herself probably more indispensable than Kristie Mewis. Yes, more than team goals and shots leader Kristie Mewis, who did her best to push the boulder that was the Breakers offense up the hill towards respectability no matter how many times it rolled back down. Without Kallman, that abysmal -21 goal differential could have been much worse, and when your team isn't scoring, your back line becomes all the more important.
So now the season is over, and the players are scattering. NWSL will likely expand next season. The Breakers should have the number one draft pick in 2016. There's a lot of change coming. But Kassey Kallman can be the calm eye at the center of the storm for the Breakers. Build up a spine through the middle of the field starting with her.
And whatever you do, Boston, for the love of all that is good in soccer, don't trade her.