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The Breakers season has been much like a promising boxers career; training hard to be in the best condition, receiving the spotlight as a top professional team, and delivering on those high expectations even through adversity.

In this important bout, the Breakers would deliver a PO (Pink Out) to their opponent the Philadelphia Fever.

The stage: Dilboy Stadium in Somerville set the stage for a fun and exciting game. The Breakers were wearing pink kits in support of Project Pink, a Puma charity campaign that raises awareness and funds to aid in the fight against breast cancer. The pink jerseys worn by the players were auctioned during the game and raised over $2,800 which will go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The game marked their 2012 season home finale with yet another sold-out crowd in attendance to cheer them to victory.

The weigh-in: The Breakers were the overwhelming favorites to win the game. Coming into the match, the Breakers were tied for 1st in the league standings and the Fever were tied for last. But given their recent tough loss against the New England Mutiny, would they be able to bounce back?

The fight: Like any top fighter with a bad taste in their mouth from the last bout, the Breakers came out fast and furious. The Breakers midfielder Bianca D’Agostino opened-up the onslaught of offensive blows with a shot in the 4th minute that rattled the goal. From that point on, the Breakers were going for the PO on each and every shot. Fever goal keeper Michelle Dalton would fend off stellar shots from Cat Whitehill, Katie Schoepfer, Jessica Luscinski and Melissa Henderson before conceding to Schoepfer on a penalty kick in the 13th minute. D’Agostino, who turned in her best performance of the season, kept the pressure on Dalton with great shot selection, power, and accuracy. Dalton gave in once more to the offensive blitz when Courtney Jones netted her second goal of the season off a pass from Breakers captain Leslie Osborne.

As any top fighter will tell you, you need a great defense to go with your offense. The Breakers keeping and defense recorded their sixth shutout of the season. The Breakers back line of Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, and Julie King held their ground, limiting the work for goal keeper Alejandra Velasco.  Velasco only had to save one shot to get her first shutout of the season.  The Breakers out shot the Fever 23 – 1 on the game and put almost half of those on goal.

The Fever’s strategy was to pack-in the defense and limit the damage of the Breakers blows. They were successful in holding the Breakers high-octane offense to 2 goals and goal to shot percentage of just under 10% at 9%. The strategy, while effective on the defensive end, saw the offense struggle. They only tested the Breakers once which Velasco saved.

The Breakers play their final game of the 2012 campaign away vs. the Western New York Flash on Sunday, July 22nd at 4pm ET at Sahlen Stadium. The game will determine playoff seeding as the Breakers and Flash are tied for 1st with 30 points and the Chicago Red Stars are in 2nd with 27 points and two games to play.

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The Boston Breakers went into their match versus in-state rival the New England Mutiny on a five game winning streak. With their win over the ASA Chesapeake from the previous night fresh in mind, the Breakers had momentum, aptitude, and durability going for them.

Momentum: Looking at the record, the Breakers were going into last night’s match on a roll. The Breakers were winners of five straight, and won the previous match-up between the two teams. Since their loss to now top-seeded Chicago Red Stars, the Breakers have beat up the competition. In those five wins they recorded 3 shutouts and  outscored their opponents 11 – 4. In the previous match the Breakers outlasted the Mutiny winning by a score of 4 – 2.

Aptitude: The Breakers have multiple players in the top of the league leaders for points, goals, and assists. The team’s roster includes Kyah Simon, Katie Schoepfer, and Courtney Jones. Simon is the league best in scoring and points; Schoepfer ranks in the top 3 league-wide in scores, assists, and points; Jones leads the league in assists. With skill like this on the team, it’s easy to see how the Breakers were top of the league going into last night’s game.

Durability: The Breakers are known throughout the league for being an incredibly fit team, for keeping the pressure on all game, and for scoring  late in the second half of games. If any WPSL Elite team could accomplish the physically taxing task of winning games on back to back nights, it would be the Breakers. Right?

For 90 plus minutes in last night’s game against the Mutiny, the Breakers looked as though they would pull it off.  Simon scored in the 47th minute, and the team had plenty of opportunities to net another if it wasn’t for the stellar play of Mutiny GK Vicki Alonzo. What the Breakers didn’t plan for was the ace up the Mutiny’s sleeve: Resilience.

Resilience: The Mutiny proved that staying in the game and bouncing back are the key to winning against this formidable team. This would ultimately be the story of the night.

The Mutiny would prove their resiliency by scoring two goals in stoppage time to get the all-important win, thereby keeping their playoff dreams alive. The equalizer came off the foot of the team’s recent signing and former Breaker Tiffany Weimer. Minutes later the game-winner sailed past the outstretched hands of Breakers GK Alice Binns by Mutiny substitute Taleen Dimirdjian. Another Mutiny substitute for the game Rebecca Mays would set-up Dimirdjian for the goal.

The Mutiny celebrated their victory with the 1,031 fans in attendance, while the Breakers felt as though they let three points get away.

New England Mutiny – Box score/recap

Boston Breakers – Box score/recap

The Breakers will look to show their resiliency when they return to action in their next match on July 14th against the Philadelphia Fever at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA. It will be Puma “Project Pink” night at Dilboy. The players will be wearing pink jerseys to raise awareness for breast cancer. The jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of the game to raise funds for a cancer charity to help find a cure.

Just one game from their roller-coaster match against the Western New York Flash, the Breakers got back to normal by dominating FC Indiana. The high-octane offense put away 4 goals, matching their season high which incidentally came against the same FC Indiana team. Not to be outdone, the Breakers defense also put in a solid performance. Lead by goal keeper Alice Binns, they recorded another shutout for the season.

The Breakers topped FC Indiana by a final score of 4 – 0, keeping their pursuit of a perfect season alive. They maintain their position atop the league standings with a 6 point lead over the New York Fury. Scoring for the game opened with a goal in the 30th minute by Bianca D’Agostino assisted by team captain Leslie Osborne. This was D’Agostino’s first goal as Breaker. The next two goals came from WPSL league leading goal scorer Katie Schoepfer, the first in the 34th minute assisted by defender Julie King and the second assisted by former UNC Tar Heel standout Courtney Jones. The final tally for the game came in the 78th minute, unassisted off the foot of Australian international Kyah Simon. This gives Simon three goals for the season.

For more information on the game click here. The Breakers (5 – 0) next face the Chicago Red Stars Sunday, June 3rd in Chicago at 5pm ET.

After five games played this season, FC Indiana are still in search of their first win. Their closest chances thus far have been against the Red Stars, when the margin of victory was two goals in each game. FC Indiana’s next chance for a win is at home against the ASA Chesapeake Charge on Friday, June 8th at 7pm ET.

Earlier games: On Thursday, May 31st the New York Fury got back to their winning ways beating the Philadelphia Fever in front of the home crowd by a score of 3 – 0. With a record of 3 – 1, the Fury  sit in WPSL Elite standings at second place with nine points. This puts them six points behind the first place Boston Breakers. The Fever (0 – 2 -1) weren’t able to get the road win and their first win on the season.

WPSL Weekend Games: On Saturday, June 2nd the New England Mutiny (1 -1 -1) host the Fever in East Longmeadow, MA at 7pm ET. The Mutiny add to their roster Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Morgan Andrews as they attempt to get their second win of the season. The Mutiny will be playing their first game with interim head coach Chris Legates. Boston College star and recent US National Team training camp member Kristen Mewis’s availability for the game is uncertain. The last time these two teams met, they played to a draw. The Fever hope to better their effort this game and get their first win of the season.

There are two games on Sunday, June 3rd. The first game scheduled for a 5pm ET start features a match between the remaining two undefeated teams in the league, the Boston Breakers visiting the Chicago Red Stars. The night-cap at 7pm ET will have the Flash visiting the Fury in a battle for New York supremacy. At the moment, the Flash have the edge with a win in their first meeting, the Fury hope to even the score.

If you’ve been keeping track of the Boston Breakers this seasons, you may have been hard pressed to find similarities between last night’s game against Wester New York Flash and their wins to date. Although the outcome would end the same with a win, the road taken, the roster of players used, and the fashion to get there was much different.

“I think it’s a sign of a good team that we’ve won in many different ways.” Katie Schoepfer said “We’ve had blowouts, we’ve had teams that were a lot more physical, we’ve had teams that were a lot more organized.”

Control of the game swung back and forth as each team would have opportunities to take over. The Breakers took the lead with the only score in the first half from Schoepfer in the 33rd minute. The Flash would strike next in the first five minutes of the second half with a goal by Angela Salem in the 49th minute. The Breakers would bounce back with Schoepfer’s PK make in the 54th minute. Schoepfer would get the hat trick in the 67th minute when she got her toe on a ball that came loose off Kyah Simon’s possession in the box. The Flash returned the favor by netting their second in the 82nd minute, the score came from Flash forward Adriana. The score of the game would stay at 3 – 2 as the Breakers held on for the win.

The Breakers missed the play of Aussie Tameka Butts in the midfield, but were able to compensate for it with the return of two U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 players Bianca D’Agostino and  Amanda DaCosta. Those weren’t the only roster changes as Elli Reed rejoined the team from the U-23 camp as well and Melissa Henderson joined the team on Thursday driving from the University of Notre Dame.

Other WPSL action this weekend: ASA Chesapeake Charge get their first win of the season beating the Philadelphia Fever by the score of 3 – 2.

Next week in WPSL: The games for the week start on Thursday, May 31st with the Fever visiting the Fury. The Fury hope to bounce back from their first loss of the season. The Fever are still looking for their first win of the season. On Friday, June 1st the Breakers look to continue their winning streak against last place FC Indiana. This is the first of two road games this week for the Breakers. The Saturday, June 2nd game will feature the Fever against the Mutiny. The Mutiny hope to keep their two game unbeaten streak alive versus the Fever in front of their home crowd. Sunday, June 3rd is a double feature: In the early game the Breakers travel to the windy city to take on the 2nd place Red Stars and in the second game the supremacy of the State of New York will be decided as the Flash meet the Fury.

This week’s WPSL action kicked off on Wednesday, May 23rd pitting the Boston Breakers against the New York Fury. They  would battle for the top spot in the standings as they came into the game tied for 1st place.

The Breakers would strike first with a goal in the 10th minute, Tameka Butt would tally her second score of the season assisted by Courtney Jones. Butt is tied for second on the team in goals with Australian teammate Kyah Simon at two. Jones is tied for first on the team in assists with Simon at two. The eventual game winner by Katie Schoepfer came in the 19th minute off an assist from Simon. Schoepfer leads the team with threes goals, scoring in each game played.

The Breakers continue to score at a blistering rate to start their games, leaving the eventual outcome pretty much decided by half time. In all their games this season, the Breakers have scored 89% (8 of 9) of their goals in the first half. When the offense is stalled, the defense and goal keeping keep the game deceidedly in the Breakers favor with the league’s second best  GAA of 0.67.

In the second half, The Fury would show why they are a top team in the league by making the game interesting. Merritt Mathias would net her fourth goal of the season in the 66th minute to put the Fury on the scoreboard. Mathias leads the Fury in goals and is atop the league in goals and points.

The Breakers would get the road win and add to their league best record of 3 – 0.

Other WPSL action this week: On Friday, May 25th the Chicago Red Stars visited FC Indiana and got their second win on the season. The Red Stars record of 2 – 0 is good enough for second best in the league. Both wins have come at the expense of FC Indiana. The Breakers host former WPS rival Western New York Flash on Saturday, May 26th at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA at 6pm ET. ASA Chesapeake Charge and the Philadelphia Fever look for their first wins of the season as they face off in the last game of the weekend on Sunday, May 27th. The Fury next play on Thursday, May 31st at home against the Fever.

The future of women’s soccer in the United States of America was volatile when WPS made the decision to suspend the 2012 season due in part to resolving legal disputes. This period was short-lived as two established leagues positioned themselves to fill that gap. The WPSL has filled the demand by pushing up the date to create their Elite league by a year, bring in former WPS clubs the Red Stars, the Breakers, and the Flash, and having the teams sign talented players from the WPS. The USL W-League already had a pro league but are now able to increase the talent pool by signing former WPS players. Both leagues will start play in the week of May 7th. But does this mean the future of women’s soccer is safe?

The chat will look to explore the future all be it without a time machine and answer what does the future of US women’s soccer look like at the professional level, college level, and youth level.

Q1: US Women’s Professional Soccer

  • Is there enough demand to support two leagues, possibly three (return of WPS)? Why or why not?
  • Could or should there be inter-league play?
  • What impact does this split have on the structure of professional soccer and feeding system for the national team?
  • What complications does this create for players?

Q2: College Level Women’s Soccer

  • What impact does having or not having a professional league have on the college game?
  • What new decisions are players now confronted with when deciding their future after school?
  • What impact would be felt by athletic programs at universities?

Q3: Youth Level Women’s Soccer

  • What impact does having or not having a professional league or role models have on the interest of youth toward the game?
  • Does this change the landscape of the youth women’s game? Why?
  • What is the trickle down impact that could be felt by youth organizations?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

After only two short weeks from the deflating news that WPS was suspending the 2012 season, we have been offered hope. This week WPSL announced the creation of an elite league which would include WPS teams. As describe in And They Play On, the Boston Breakers and the Western New York Flash have joined in. They will be joined by the Chicago Red Stars and FC Indiana. This keeps professional level women’s soccer play and players in the U.S. for 2012.

The chat will look to explore what this means for WPS, the players, and the game of women’s professional soccer in the U.S.

Q1: Women’s Professional Soccer

  • What does this do for WPS?
  • In what way may WPS benefit from this?
  • What impact does this have on the future of WPS?
  • What complications could come about from this decision?

Q2: The Players

  • What benefits do players get from this decision?
  • What decisions are players now confronted with?
  • What are the future considerations for the players?

Q3: The U.S. Women’s Professional Game

  • How is this a win for the women’s game?
  • Does this change the landscape of the women’s game? Why?
  • What does this mean for the future of U.S. soccer?

Join us on Monday at 8pm ET to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to TwitterTweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

“Elite”. One word, that is all you need to describe WPS, the players in the league, the coaches, and now the WPSL (Women’s Premier Soccer League). After WPS suspended the 2012 season, its teams, players, and coaches were left with two options; await the 2013 season to start playing or find a way to get on the field this year. Enter the WPSL. They are creating an Elite league which will include WPS teams the Boston Breakers and the Western New York Flash, former WPS team Chicago Red Stars, and FC Indiana.

One of the fears that came out of WPS suspending the 2012 season and the recent memory of the failed WUSA was what will happen to women’s professional soccer in the U.S. now. “The WPSL recognizes the importance of a professional women’s soccer league in America,” WPSL Commissioner Jerry Zanelli said. “And that it is critical to provide a showcase for these top women players, and to inspire young athletes. We have put together a plan that will allow WPS teams individually to join the WPSL in the Elite League. Officially, they will not be professional teams, but would allow our top professional players to play in a highly competitive league.” WPSL has always looked to support and improve women’s soccer in the US and this is just another part of that initiative. “We have said all along that we will do anything to help improve women’s soccer in U.S.” said Zanelli. “This is a step in keeping that process going.” Breakers coach Lisa Cole saw this as a necessity when at a youth camp, “This is why this has to happen,” she said. “These girls have to have these players in their lives. The excitement that they bring from talking to the professional player is so important. The influence that these players have on others’ lives is tremendous.”

This is another endorsement of the women’s game along with the flood of tweets from players and fans. Boston Breakers Associate General Manager Lee Billiard has seen this first hand. “After the suspension of WPS was announced, we received overwhelming support from our fan base and sponsors,” he said. “Internally, it was clear for us to keep the Boston Breakers in the community and to provide an avenue for players to train and play at a competitive level. We are delighted with the outcome and happy to announce the Boston Breakers will be playing again in 2012 and stepping up our community outreach programs.” Leslie Osborne ,frequent tweeter, was moved by the support when she tweeted “It’s very important (to) keep this franchise around, (We) have (the) best fans.”

With the suspension of the season, one big question on everyone’s minds is what is next for WPS players? This concern is well expressed by  Lisa Cole. “The first week was really, really hard; the conversations I had with each and every player on the team were hard,” Cole said. “Some players were extremely disappointed, some were mad, some players were in disbelief. You’re so close to a dream and it just doesn’t happen.” She went on to say “I love how they’ve responded now. Our team especially has been upbeat and positive in social media… They’ll be playing to keep their dream alive.”

But what does it all mean for the future of WPSL elite league and WPS? Jerry Zanelli, WPSL commissioner,  had this to say. “Our main purpose was to find ways to continue to have the highest possible level of soccer for women in the United States,” Zanelli continued, “and to help prepare for the return of professional women’s soccer in 2013. We also wanted to make it financially viable for present WPSL teams to join the Elite League and raise their level of play.” The elite league will look to expand in 2013 to the west coast. Interest has come from San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Bay Area, and Seattle.

What do you think about partnership between WPS and WPSL? Is this a good way to keep interest in women’s professional soccer? Or does this water down the progress WPS had made?

The first full WPS weekend gives this week’s chat plenty to discuss. We will discuss all three matches: magicJack/Philly II (or is it I ?), Beat/Flash II, and the much-anticipated Sky Blue vs. Breakers match. Also on tap for discussion is the first time back-to-back winner of the WPS POTW and the US Coast Guard SOTW. As a bonus we’ll look at what it means for the Red Stars to move to the WPSL.

Q1: The Independence vs. magicJack.

  • Is the home field advantage for magicJack the field width instead of the fans? What impact does this have on the opposing team?
  • What are your thoughts on magicJack’s game two performance?
  • What impact if any did the time lag between games have for Philly?
  • Who is your player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score and re-cap.

Q2: The Beat vs. The Flash II.

  • The Flash sit at the top of the table, is this the point where they start to break away from the rest of the teams?
  • Christine Sinclair records the first multi-goal game, what do you think of her performance and is it worthy of the WPS POTW award?
  • What are your thoughts on the Beat’s performance (having two strong outings followed by this game)?
  • Which Beat team should we expect to see through out the rest of the regular season?
  • Who is your player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score, Beat recap, and Flash recap.

Q3: Sky Blue vs. The Breakers.

  • What are your thoughts on the Breakers performance?
  • What are your thoughts on the adjusted line-up for the Breakers, having Alex Scott in the midfield and Amy LePeilbet at outside back?
  • What impact did the two-week lag in between games have for Sky Blue?
  • Sky Blue doesn’t get an easy match next week playing the Flash, can they come away with a win? What type of effort is needed for them to win the next match?
  • Who is your player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score, Sky Blue recap and Breakers recap.

Q4: The WPS POTW.

  • Let’s discuss the performance of the first back-to-back winner, Alli Lipsher.

For more information on the POTW, check out the article.

Q5: The US Coast Guard SOTW.

  • Let’s discuss the performance of the winner, Ashlyn Harris.

For more information on the SOTW, check out the video.

Bonus Q: The Chicago Red Stars.

  • What does moving to the WPSL mean for the organization?
Join us on Monday at 8pm EST to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to Twitter, Tweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

In honor of the diversity of #WPSchat Tweeps all over the world and two big women’s soccer tournaments commencing, this week’s chat will broaden its view to cover the world of women’s soccer. The discussion will be on the Algarve Cup, the Cyprus Cup, and the WPS preseason.

Q1: The Algarve Cup.

  • What teams have surprised you or exceeded your expectations?
  • Has the play of any WPS player in the tournament peeked your interest?
  • Who are the biggest winners and losers of the tournament thus far?
  • Who do you see winning the tournament?

For coverage of the cup, check out US Soccer and Our Game Magazine.

Q2: The Cyprus Cup.

  • What teams have surprised you or exceeded your expectations?
  • Has the play of any WPS player in the tournament peeked your interest?
  • Who are the biggest winners and losers of the tournament thus far?
  • Who do you see winning the tournament?

For coverage of the cup, check out All White Kit and Our Game Magazine.

Q3: The WPS Preseason.

  • On paper who is the team to beat (check out preseason rosters)?
  • Which team on paper has the best backfield?
  • Which team on paper has the best midfield?
  • Which team on paper has the best frontline?

For more coverage of the WPS preseason, check out  The Equalizer and the WPS.

Join us on Monday at 8pm EST to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to Twitter, Tweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #WPSchat tag.

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