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Projecting the 2014 NWSL College Draft: The Breakers in Round One

With five picks in the 2014 NWSL College draft, the Breakers have room to fill several prominent roster holes. How will Boston fair in round one? The Bent Musket breaks down the action, round-by-round.

If Forward Kealia Ohai (Senior, UNC) falls to the number seven spot, expect the Braekers to move quickly
If Forward Kealia Ohai (Senior, UNC) falls to the number seven spot, expect the Braekers to move quickly

The Breakers restructured their roster this off-season, acquiring NWSL talents Kristie Mewis, Kaylyn Kyle and Courtney Jones while trading midfielder Mariah Nogueira and icon forward Sydney Leroux. In the process, Boston placed a high value on upcoming draft selections, improving its stock ahead of the 2014 and 2015 NWSL College Drafts. When the 2014 draft opens on Jan. 17, the Breakers will enter with five picks, rivaling only Western New York, who also accumulated five draft selections.

What can we expect from the 2014 Breakers, who hold glaring needs at the forefront of the Tom Durkin era? The Bent Musket breaks down the draft, round-by-round, starting from the beginning.

Draft Preview, Round One

  1. Washington Spirit
  2. Chicago Red Stars
  3. Chicago Red Stars
  4. FC Kansas City (trade with BOSTON)
  5. Sky Blue FC
  6. Portland Thorns
  7. BOSTON BREAKERS (trade with Kansas City)
  8. Western New York Flash

With less than a week remaining in the 2013 NCAA Women's Soccer season, the crop of collegiate talent centers around the midfield position, where the Breakers hold considerable depth. The acquisition of midfielders Mewis and Kyle, two projected members of the Starting XI, and the loss of Leroux, who scored 11 goals last season, makes the Breakers' draft-day selection fairly straightforward. Expect Durkin & co. to select a striker with their first-round selection, kick-starting the Sydney Leroux replacement project with youthful talent.

Best Case Scenario: Maya Hayes, Forward, Penn State University

Hayes, who represents the top-ranked goal-scorer in the 2014 draft, scored 19 goals for the Nittany Lions last season while contributing six assists. The senior also featured at the U-20 National Team level, serving as the most capped player on the U.S. roster (37 matches) and the team's leading scorer (12 goals). Hayes will draw considerable attention on draft day, and may leave the board as one of Chicago's two first-round selections.

Projection: Kealia Ohai, Forward, University of North Carolina

If Ohai falls to the seven spot, expect Durkin and Billiard to enthusiastically select the draft's most coveted consolation prize. As a senior forward, Ohai scored 11 goals while making all 25 starts, anchoring a fifth-ranked Tar Heel side that made an elite-eight run just a week ago. Ohai's effective tenure with the U-20 National Team bodes well for future with the senior squad, following in the footsteps of UNC standouts Jones, Heather O'Reilly and Cat Whitehill.

Stay tuned for round two analysis as the 2014 NWSL College Draft draws closer.