The Boston Breakers have signed 27-year-old midfielder Amanda DaCosta after acquiring her from the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for their third and fourth-round picks in the 2017 college draft.
DaCosta was once a Boston Breaker during WPSL Elite in 2012, the year that bridged WPS and NWSL.
After WPSL Elite, DaCosta played for Matt Beard at Liverpool and has appeared for the Portuguese Women’s National Team. She has also seen time for the US youth teams.
“During our time at Liverpool she was a key player for me,” Beard said via team press release. “Technically, she is very gifted and she is a clever soccer player.”
DaCosta now returns to Boston to help bolster the midfield. She’s capable of playing that defensive mid role, but assuming Angela Salem is around, might be asked to play higher up on the field, enabling players like Kristie Mewis and Louise Schillgard to spend more time wide instead of cutting inside to help make up for the lack of a central playmaker.
Beard giving up draft picks (assuming the team doesn’t re-acquire some later picks before the draft) isn’t necessarily surprising; despite a full year in the States now, Beard almost certainly doesn’t have the same familiarity with the NCAA that other coaches do, and past interviews have made it clear he expects a certain level of finished product out of players in that 21- or 22-year-old age range that many graduating American players don’t seem to have yet. Beard putting more stock in trades and international signings over later-round draft picks makes sense.
Between the signing of DaCosta and Norwegian forward Emilie Haavi, the team already looks stronger at forward and midfield in terms of likely starters. Perhaps the top of the roster will continue to get filled out in this way, and the college draft will be Boston’s way of filling in the bench and finding developmental players. The offseason is young yet.