The Boston Breakers have announced the signing of 24-year-old Norwegian international Emilie Haavi, “pending receipt of her P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC)” as per the team press release.
Haavi joins Natasha Dowie and Kyah Simon among the Breakers’ contingent of forwards, coming from LSK Kvinner in Norway’s Toppserien where she scored 49 goals in 82 games. Here’s a very boss hard goal she scored for her previous club in Norway, Røa.
You can also see more of her work for Norway against Equatorial Guinea in the 2011 World Cup.
It looks like Haavi can push wide left or right, which would make her a good asset to help feed Tasha Dowie, as well as hit it long range on her own. Boston needs more offensive threats to help pull the pressure off Dowie, who was the Breakers’ only consistent scorer last season.
“Emilie is a player that I have been watching for the past few years,” said Matt Beard via the press release. “She is an exciting, pacey winger who will be a great addition to the team.”
2017 is a UEFA Women’s Euro year, though, which means Haavi would almost certainly be gone for part of the season as the tournament runs July 16 through August 6. But if she could dig in for the first part of the season and help Boston start much stronger than it usually does, even a handful of goals or assists from her would be a huge help. Consider that the Breakers only had three goals in the first half of their 2016 season; with both Haavi and Dowie onboard, that number should definitely improve (should of course being the operative word here). If Dowie maintains her current goalscoring rate and Haavi matches her, they would combine for an extra six or seven goals in the first half of the season, tripling what the Breakers managed in 2016.
Haavi makes it three internationals on the Breakers so far for 2017, with England’s Dowie and Australia’s Simon. That number would go to four should Sweden’s Louise Schillgard return. It’s rumored that Beard wanted to get Haavi onboard when he was the head coach at Liverpool in the WSL; perhaps this time the lure of playing top-level American soccer and the chance to help build something finally sealed the deal. This looks to be part of Beard getting the chance to really build his own roster and also points to the decisions he might be making at the college draft in January. With plenty of attacking power and two GKs hopefully ready to go, he may focus on deepening his bench at midfield and defense through draft picks.
As a side note, with a middle name like “Bosshard,” that’s got to be a positive sign for Breakers fans.