On Tuesday, the Breakers joined forces with University Sports Complex in Hanover, Mass., solidifying a modern venue for professional and youth training. The state-of-the-art facility offers an abundance of soccer-based resources, including a 132 x 40 yard indoor turf field, eight futsal-eligible fields, an outdoor activity park and a gym for strength and conditioning.
Although the Breakers split for the first half of the off-season, GM Lee Billiard offered insight into the team's new partnership. "We are excited to be partnering with such a fantastic facility. We pride ourselves on being professional and giving Breakers players, fans, and families the best of the best," said Billiard. "It will be a fantastic place for our senior pro team and youth teams to train."
Frank Teixeira, a majority owner at University Sports Complex, described the venue as "the premier sports facility on the south shore," stating, "we are really excited to be associated with the Boston Breakers professional women's soccer team and to build a soccer presence on the South Shore."
As Billiard continues to upgrade his Somerville-based side, it only seems natural to evaluate the Breakers' current facility. Do the women in blue need a new home? We dive into the depths of Dilboy Stadium to offer our input.
Though Dilboy actively advertises its partnership with the Breakers, the Stadium also hosts the Boston Militia of the Women's Football Alliance, the Boston Cambridge Somerville Eleven Bay League soccer team and the Suffolk University Rams soccer program. Without question, the Breakers navigate a tight resource pool, facing the challenges of a non-permanent home. Football lines coat the turf, goal posts stand behind the end line and all signage rises - and falls - on game day. At first glance, the Breakers' home represents something of a top-tier high school stadium; does the facility offering anything more?
Sure, Dilboy suffers from obvious flaws, including a difficult commute from public transit, uncomfortable metal bleachers and less-than-accommodating parking. And yes, permanent signage would further develop the team's brand. But something about this Somerville-based, multi-purpose facility feels like home. The team regularly sells out matches, catering to U-8 soccer players, soccer-focused professors and everything in-between; the friendly parking staff always works to accommodate visiting families; and Breakers' graphics cover the stadium's outer walls on game days, pushing fans to forget about the Militia, Eleven and Rams.
Although we admit that world-class strikers Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan and Lauren Holiday seem a little out of place on a women's football field, we also admit that Dilboy holds more personality and character than most NWSL-based stadiums. For now, we feel comfortable with Boston's soccer home, though fully expect Tom Durkin's crew to outgrow Dilboy's capacity.
Have you ever made the trip to Dilboy Stadium? What do you think of the Breaker's Somerville home?