Tiffany Weimer has seen her share of pro soccer. She’s been to Europe and back, played with Portland, Washington, FC Kansas City, and now returns to Boston after a prior stint with the team back in WPS. Weimer doesn’t seem fazed by joining a team with a slightly depressing reputation and mentioned plenty of positives during an interview after practice last week.
“It’s kind of great to be a part of [a team] that’s been around for so long in a sport that hasn’t really been around for so long,” she said. “I think that they’ve brought together a really great group of people, some of my friends and some people that I’ve heard of from before.”
Weimer was also up on head coach Matt Beard; Beard called Weimer before Boston announced the trade for her rights. “It was a very nice conversation and I liked all the things he had to say and his plans for this year,” she said.
Weimer couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say yet what specific plans Beard has for her on the field, but off the field, she certainly brings a veteran presence to the group. “The oldest player on the team by five years,” she said with a wry, good-natured grin. (Next-oldest is Tasha Dowie at 28.) “...there’s a lot of rookies and players that have only been in the league for a couple of years, so of course [Beard] would like me to help and be the good influence in their lives.”
Weimer’s guidance will really come in handy later in the season, though. “I think that as we get the tougher part of the season is when people need each other more,” she said. “Right now it’s kind of new and – not easy – but we haven’t had to face any tough decisions like rosters or people staying home on the weekends. That’s when things get hard and people get tired throughout the season. And that’s, I think, when people really seek others to help them through.”
For now preseason seems to be going well. The Breakers beat Boston College 5-1 and NEFC U15 boys 5-1 in preseason scrimmages. “It just looked like we played better with each other and maybe it just took a little time to get to know each other on the field,” she said, comparing the first game to the second. “So the first game we just kind of got it out of our way. We learned. We watched film. Once you recognize what somebody else is looking for on the field, what they’re good at, then it’s easier to play with them the next game. I think that’s all we needed from the BC game. The boys’ team is good and we put our chances away in both games, which is great, but the second game is definitely more of a team feeling, more of a we’re-playing-together kind of thing.”
That team melding will serve Boston well while national team players depart for April friendlies. Rose Lavelle and Megan Oyster will be with the USWNT as they play Russia in two friendlies, while Allysha Chapman and Adrian Leon will be with the CanWNT as they take on Sweden and Germany. “We got a lot of that improvement [from game to game] while everyone was here which was great,” she said. “Now people are going off to their national teams and it doesn’t feel like we’re totally behind or anything. And then when they come back it seems like they’ll fit right back in seamlessly.”
She laughed as she added, “We’ll let them come back.” The laughter continued as she said the constant nutmegging of rookie Rose Lavelle was “kind of [our] introduction to coming to the league. It’s good for them.”
Now Weimer thinks that despite difficult seasons past, Boston can still make a run for playoffs. “I think that especially in this league, if you can get to the playoffs, anything can happen. And getting to the playoffs is not so farfetched for any team in this league. That’s why I think that it’s always a realistic goal for any team in this league, especially because the quality is so high in each team.”
The interview had to pause here as Breakers defender Julie King walked by and heckled Weimer, who gave back as good as she got.
It seemed like a good time close out with a fun, random question. If Weimer had to be stranded on an island with a teammate forever, who would she choose? “Easy,” she said. “Angela Salem. Cause she’s a survivor. She’s a fighter. She won’t let us die. I know she won’t.”