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The venue: Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA.

The occasion: Boston Breakers home opener.

Anyone who has ever been a fan knows that supporting your team is like a relationship. There are ups and downs, moments of indescribable joy and heartache. On this evening, both the Boston Breakers and their new fans at Dilboy stadium entered into a commitment – no matter what happened during the first home game of the season, it would be gotten through together.

One of the sayings before entering into a life long commitment is to bring something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue.

Let’s check the list:

Something new: the stadium and league. Got that covered, next.

Something old: The Boston Breakers organization, which has survived the WUSA and WPS.

Something borrowed: Players from both the U.S. Women’s National Team and the Australian National Team

Something blue: Obvious, isn’t it? Breakers blue!

The home opener went as every fan and team dreams the night would with a win. The Breakers defeated FC Indiana by a score of 4 – 1 in front of a crowd of 2,312 fans.

“We didn’t know what we were going to expect tonight with FC Indiana, so we had to be prepared for anything. But I think the most exciting thing is the new stadium, a new city, and a great sellout crowd that we heard the whole game,” captain Leslie Osborne said. “Just to be back in a Breakers uniform and playing again in front of our fans and to get a win for them and score some goals, it’s a good day.”

The Breakers struck first in the 9th minute when Katie Schoepfer netted the rebound of Cat Whitehill’s blistering shot. The night didn’t go without incident as FC Indiana evened the score in the 11th minute. Nadia Libertin received a ball from Sophia Batard and chipped a shot over Breakers goal keeper Alice Binns for the score.

Australian National Team star Kyah Simon would score the next two goals for the Breakers. Her first would break the tie giving the Breakers the lead in the 13th minute. Former Boston University star Jessica Luscinski would assist on the second goal adding to her brilliant play thus far in the season.

“I am pleased to get the two goals, but I think I should’ve had a few more. But we stuck in there against a hard opponent to play,” Simon said. “It was one of those games where you had to finish your chances when you can.”

Tameka Butt’s hard play in the game would earn her the game’s last goal. In the 57th minute, she would connect on a give and go with Simon for the goal.

“It was good getting my first goal for the Breakers. It’ll always be a memorable one, and my teammate from Australia set me up, so it was a good goal to get” Butt said.

The team performed well, the offense was scoring goals and the defense limited scores and scoring opportunities. Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole had this to say of the night “They were a little more physical than I thought they’d be, but we decided to come out and play our game and get the result we’d be happy with.”

If the home opener is any sign of the marriage to be between the Breakers team and fan, it appears it will be a happy one!

Click here for more information on the game.

For video of the game visit the Boston Breakers YouTube channel.

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This week in the WPS the much-anticipated match between the #1 team the Flash and the #2 team magicJack went down in the books and the Legend Kristine Lilly had her jersey retired. The chat will take a look at this week’s outcomes and the Legend’s retirement.

Q1: The Beat vs. Sky Blue.

  • The Beat continue to struggle with their fourth consecutive defeat. How this young team need to grow fast in order to stay competitive this season?
  • Sky Blue records a convincing victory and are right back in the hunt. Will this victory jumpstart the team to a place at the top of the league?

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

Q2: The Independence vs. The Breakers.

  • The Independence on the road come away with a point and continue to move up in the standings. Will they be able to be the first team to knock off the Flash?
  • The Breakers stepped up their play in the second half and tied up the game to come away with a point. What do they be able to cool down Sky Blue next week and keep the fourth spot in the standings?

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

Q3: magicJack vs. The Flash.

  • MagicJack suffer their first loss of the season. How will they bounce back?
  • What are your thoughts on magicJack’s performance?
  • The Flash are the only undefeated team left in the WPS. Will they run the table and have an undefeated season?
  • What are your thoughts on the Flash’s performance?
  • Who is the player of the match?

For more information on the match, check out the box score.

Q4: The Legend’s Retirement.

  • What is the impact to the WPS and soccer?
  • Will anyone be able to replace Kristine Lilly and who could it be?
  • What does it take to become a player and leader at Lilly’s level?
For more information on Kristine Lilly, read this article.

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.

The 2011 WPS Draft is less than a week away and with it is the promise of the season ahead. When looking ahead, it is always good to reflect on where you came from and how you got there. This week’s chat will do just that looking at the past, the present, and the future.

Q1: #KL13– Kristine Lilly.

  • What was her greatest impact on the game of soccer?
  • What void has been left with her retirement?
  • Your favorite KL moment?

Q2: Player Movement.

  • What was the biggest move so far this off-season?
  • What teams have made the biggest impact on their rosters (good or bad)?
  • What are some of the big names that have switched cities?

Q3: 2011 Opening Weekends.

  • What matches are you looking forward to?
  • Were the right games selected for the WPS Sunday on FSC?

Q4: What would you like to discuss in the upcoming weeks?

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.

Welcome to the special edition, #USwnt chat! I will be moderating this chat as part of the Twitter Campaign to build support and awareness for the US WNT before, during, and after the match versus Italy on November 27th at 2pm EST. If you are not able to attend the game live like me (watching it on ESPN3) then join us for the pre-game questions, in-game discussion as the live action happens, and post-game discussion to wrap up. If you are live at the game (lucky!) join in the discussion and tweet live in-game moments.

The questions below will be pre-game questions starting at 1:30pm EST. The chat will then go into a live discussion surrounding the action on the field. We will then “hit the showers” and do a post-game wrap up of the match.

Q1: The Lineup.

  • Who would be your starting XI?
  • What player will have the most impact on the game?
  • Would you make a substitution?

Q2: The Game.

  • Who will score first US or Italy?
  • What player has the best opportunity to score?
  • What will the final score be?

Q3: The Cool Down.

  • Whether the outcome is good or bad what happens to Pia?
  • What are your final thoughts before kick-off?

Get your virtual pre-game on and join in on Saturday at 1:30pm EST to throw your thoughts into the mix. Just log on to Twitter, Tweetchat, or Tweetgrid, and use the #USwnt tag.

This post couldn’t wait until tomorrow, although I am exhausted and by the time it gets posted it might just be well after midnight. As I sit watching the NCAA finals, I swear I hear the crowd chanting “Breakers, Breakers, Breakers!” This is the result of an evening at the Breakers “Meet the Team” event. Before I get into the details, I would like to thank the Breakers front office for holding this event for their members, the coaches for being the ultimate hosts, and the players for their kindness and dedication.

The “Meet the Team” event had a great turnout with over 400 fans in attendance to show their support. The fans got a chance to mingle with each other. They shared their favorite stories from last season while munching on a selection of delicious cheeses, crackers, and grilled vegetables (Chioma, hope you got to try some of them.) After a full belly and a few stories,  Andy Crossley stepped up to the podium and introduced the hard workers from the front office who make these events and games run seamlessly. At the completion of the front office introductions, he welcomed into the room the 2010 Breakers.

And at this the room erupted into a loud cheer. Tony took the podium next. He took a  moment to explain the upcoming introductions, player autograph signings, and most importantly, his outlook for this team and the 2010 season. The first player up to the podium was Leslie Osborne. In only a way she could, Leslie made the room all hers. She introduced herself by giving her name, position, where she is from, her college alumni, and former team. Tony then listed out her accomplishments on the pitch. This would repeat all down the line for each player.

I point this out for two reasons. The first is that these players deserve recognition for what they have done and I am glad Tony took the time to mention them. The second is that it shows the players dedication to the team and its accomplishments rather than their individual ones. The fans showed their appreciation for each and every player. But they did give a little extra for the returning players for what they treated us to last season. As the crowd wound down, the players took their seats and started signing autographs and greeting fans.

As I worked my way through the line to each player, they were all friendly, courteous, and excited to meet their supporters. Kelly Smith was sitting, standing, sitting, and standing again and again; signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. She did so without a flinch and with a smile. Alex Scott and I had a chuckle about her ability to go forward and find the back of the net and whether Tony would be able to stop her from doing this. Jen Nobis is as great in person as her Tweets would indicate. Stephanie Cox gave her recap of the USWNT snow bowl game versus Mexico. Amy LePeilbet, Allison Lipsher, and Liz Bogus were swarmed by the masses for pictures. Kristine Lilly- I don’t need to say more just that she is fantastic, humble and great. Claire Zimmeck and Fabiana were signing away; I wonder if their hands started to cramp. The  Taryn Hemmings, Leslie Osborne, and Analisa Marquez table was the most efficient of the evening. Sarah Walsh and I discussed her hair and how much product she uses to get it that way (your secret is safe with me.) Sarah’s hair tried to over shadowed Maggie Tomecka, but she was great to talk too. Tiffany Weimer and Kasey Moore were great fun to chat with and had the second most efficient table. In my opinion, the best table was saved for last with Lauren Cheney and Jordan Angeli. Lauren was as friendly as can be and Jordan had me chuckling.

The night has left me excited for the upcoming season and what the Breakers will accomplish. This post is just one of the ways I will be spreading the word about how extraordinary they are. I wish each and every player success- you all deserve it.

This is the second installment in the ‘Who Dat’ series. As I mentioned in my last post, I will be taking an in-depth look at all the WPS teams in a lead up to the start of the season. The Boston Breakers are this post’s team to go through the ‘Who Dat’ treatment.

The Front Line: This group had its ups and downs last season for the Breakers. A terrific first half of the season and a bumpy second half. The Breakers looked to improve the frontline in the offseason and have done just that. The other team’s defense will no longer have the luxury of a single focused strategy on stopping Kelly Smith without being hurt by the Breakers other offensive threats. The fresh faces of this group Lauren Cheney (USWNT goal leader so far in 2010), Laura del Rio, Tiffany Weimer, and Sarah Walsh will be welcomed by Kelly Smith and will finish plays. A not so fresh face to the team but a fully recovered Fabiana will bolster this group as well.

The Midfield: Best performing group through out the whole season last year for the Breakers was the midfield led by team captain Kristine Lilly. This group really did it all last season from setting the frontline up to getting back and defending. They were tenacious and looked to be weakened by the retirement of Angela Hucles. The Breakers did an outstanding job in free agency to fill the hole left and make it better than last season. The acquisitions of Leslie Osborne and Chioma Igwe will bring this group to that next level.

The Defense and Goal Tending: The defense and goal tending for the Breakers was solid for most of the last season. There were only a couple of notable let downs last season against Sky Blue FC and the season finale against the Sol. The Breakers retained Allison Lipsher who did wonderful in net replacing Kristin Luckenbill midway through the 2009 season. In the games she started only Karina LeBlanc had a better GAA and percentage of shutouts vs total games. In the draft the Breakers selected net minder Alyssa Naeher to spell Lipsher. Opponents had extreme difficulty breaking the defensive wall of the Breakers last season that consisted of Heather Mitts, Amy LePeilbet, Alex Scott, and Candace Chapman. At the beginning of the offseason that wall looked to be falling apart with the loss of Heather Mitts and Candace Chapman in free agency. The breakers made their biggest fix for the defense in the dispersal draft with the selection of Stephanie Cox. Stephanie will fill the spot left vacated by Heather Mitts and Breakers will use Kasey Moore and Jordan Angeli to fill the center defense.

The Breakers will be a team to watch in the 2010 WPS season and look to be a good challenger to Sky Blue FC’s championship defense.

The next team to be put on the table for the ‘Who Dat’ treatment will be the Chicago Red Stars, so stay tuned.

It is less than 12 hours away and I am unable to contain my excitement.

But for the true soccer geeks the excitement starts tonight with the unveiling of the new match ball for the WPS. And the excitement doesn’t end there because not only will the WPS hold their draft in Philadelphia tomorrow but they will also be unveiling the new team uniforms. It is Christmas in January-what will Kelly Smith, Amy LePeilbet, Kristine Lilly, Leslie Osborne, Alex Scott, and this year’s #2 pick wear next season? How will Heather Mitts and Amy Rodriguez look in their new uniforms for the Philadelphia Independence? Well with a little patience we will find out soon enough.

Now for the more pressing business of the draft. The Breakers have the #2 pick in the draft and with the unprecedented number of high-caliber players available they are sure to get someone who could have an immediate impact on the team. Being a UNC Tar Heel fan I have two fan favorites which I would love to see wearing those new Breaker uniforms next season, Tobin Heath and Casey Nogueira. But this however is unlikely (not impossible). For my predictions I went with logic instead of with the heart. Without further ado here are my first round predictions for the 2010 WPS draft:

1. Atlanta Beat–Tobin Heath
2. Boston Breakers–Lauren Cheney
3. FC Gold Pride–Kelley O’Hara
4. Chicago Red Stars–Casey Nogueira
5. Los Angeles Sol–Whitney Engen
6. Sky Blue FC–Brittany Taylor
7. Washington Freedom–Kelly Henderson
8. Los Angeles Sol–Ali Riley
9. Los Angeles Sol–Nikki Washington
10. FC Gold Pride–Kaley Fountain
11. Boston Breakers–Nikki Marshall

You may follow the draft as I will be through the WPS twitter feed starting at 10 am on January 15th.

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