You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Leslie Osborne’ tag.

The road for women’s professional soccer in the United States has been– simply put– bumpy. There was the first rendition in WUSA, then the second go-around with WPS, and now the NWSL. The one team to have weathered every storm is the Boston Breakers. Boston has hosted a professional women’s soccer team in every league. During the year between the collapse of WPS and the start of the NWSL, the Breakers even kept it going by forming a team to play in the semi-pro WPSL Elite.

Even with all this change, one thing remains constant for the Breakers—every player is excited for another chance to showcase their talent and love of the sport in front of the best fans. Since the announcement of the new league in November, more exciting news has been announced. Just last week, all teams in the league announced their allocations of the National Team players from USA, Canada, and Mexico. Lisa Cole returns as head coach for the Breakers, and the organization started the Breakers Academy, a youth development program.

I was able to catch up with some of your favorite Breakers; Katie Schoepfer and Heather O’Reilly to get their thoughts on the recent and exciting news.

Katie Schoepfer:

On Lisa Cole continuing as Head Coach:

“I’m really looking forward to Lisa being the head coach again. I think she is a great coach. Last year she really believed in me, and brought our team along. […] She can break down video like crazy and she very good at those kinds of “x’s and o’s” things in the locker room which I think helps us out tremendously. […] I think overall she is very much a player’s coach. She looks for a lot of input from her leaders and her team, which gives us some ownership. We’re able keep open lines of communication with Lisa and she is very receptive to it which is great for our team.”

On the new Breakers Academy:

“I really hope that girls around Massachusetts take advantage of the fact that they will be able to play and be coached by professional players and professional coaches. […] It is an honor for us to wear the Breakers jersey, so it is pretty cool for a 10-year-old girl to be able to put on that jersey too.”

“I love coaching, and I love being able to work with different teams and different age groups. Besides playing, it is one of my passions. I hope to get involved with the Academy as much as possible.”

On Heather O’Reilly:

“My rookie season I played with her in New Jersey with Sky Blue. There is really nobody like her. No one can match her work ethic. She loves to play and she loves the game. That’s really contagious on a team. You can tell the difference when she is at practice, and when she is in games. For me personally, it just gives me so much more energy because I try to match everything that she is doing. I’m looking forward to playing with her again. ”

Heather O’Reilly:

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:

“I think as a U.S. player and a fan of soccer in our country, it’s exciting to see soccer take hold in our country. It’s amazing to be a part of this growth and another step for U.S. Soccer to advance the game in our country. I think in the last two years, with the 2011 World cup and the (2012) Olympics, we are proud of the stronghold we’ve had in terms of the attention (soccer has received).”

On teammate Sydney Leroux:

“Syd, although coming off the bench (for the U.S.), she pumped in 12 goals. That was all off the bench! I’m really proud of Syd as a player. She’s handled herself very well on and off the field. And, she’s entertaining.”

On teammate Heather Mitts:

“Heather Mitts is somebody who is just the perfect teammate. She’s always going to be fit. She’s always going to be ready to go. She provides so much to the team environment.”

Her opinion on players for Mexico and Canada in the NWSL:

“It’s an interesting dynamic. I can’t even guess how many games I’ve played against (Rhian) Wilkinson (one of Boston’s players from Canada) on the National Team. I’m excited to have her on my side this time.”

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.

The first match of the WPSL Elite league’s inaugural season featured the Boston Breakers visiting the ASA Chesapeake Charge. The Breakers netted three goals in the first twenty minutes to secure the win while the defense and goal keeper Alice Binns kept the clean sheet by not letting in a single goal.

The three goals were scored by Veronica Napoli, Jessica Luscinski, and Katie Schoepfer. The first goal was scored by Napoli in the 4th minute of the game with an assist by former Tar Heel Courtney Jones. The two made history by recording the first goal and assist of WPSL Elite league. The next two goals came 10 minutes later and with in two minutes of each other. This time, Napoli was on the other side of the score assisting Schoepfer. Boston University star Jessica Luscinski scored the final goal of the match, assisted by captain Leslie Osborne.

The defense was able to make history in the game as well. The Breakers goal keeper Alice Binns recorded the first shutout of WPSL Elite league. This couldn’t have been accomplished without support from the Breakers’ back line consisting of Cat Whitehill, Taryn Hemmings, Elli Reed, and Courtney Jones.

Breakers head coach Lisa Cole had these thoughts on the team’s performance. “I liked how we started, going out right away and scoring goals,” Cole continued “Overall, I was excited about the team’s first win. I was pleased with the back line. They were solid.” When asked about the two game road trip to the nation’s capital, Cole said “It’s an important road trip for us, I want to get a ’W’ in our first WPSL Elite game, and DC United is a good team, so we get to be tested right away.”

Cole got the ‘W’ that she wanted. Let’s hope the Breakers can come out with another win in their second game against DC United. The Breakers stay in Maryland to play an exhibition versus USL W-League team DC United on Saturday, May 12th at 6 p.m. ET before heading home to Boston for their home opener versus FC Indiana Friday, May 18th at 7 p.m. ET.

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 is the fourth installment in the ‘Who Dat’ series. The beginning of the 2010 season is fastly approaching and to be sure each team gets its ‘Who Dat’ treatment there will be two series posted at a time. The FC Gold Pride 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 FC Gold Pride who as a team had the worst GPG in the league. This is one of the key areas in which the team look to improve during the off-season. They started by keeping the foundation of this group with the retention of Christine Sinclair and Tiffeny Milbrett who were one and two respectively in goals scored for the team. With the foundation set they looked to the draft as a way to build on it. They selected Kelley O’Hara the 2009 MAC Herman award winner (POY) from Stanford University who were the runner-up in the NCAA tournament and Kaley Fountain a top prospect out of Wake Forest. Then with the unexpected folding of the Los Angeles Sol the Pride had the opportunity to bolster this group even further through the dispersal draft. With the selection of Marta (the 2009 Golden Boot award winner, the 2009 WPS Michelle Akers award winner (MVP), and WPS leading goal scorer), goals should be a plenty from this group.

The Midfield: At the end of the 2009 season this group didn’t require improvement until the departure of Leslie Osborne and Tiffany Weimer to the Boston Breakers. To prevent further disruption in this group, they traded for Camille Abily before the folding of the Sol and the dispersal draft, and selected Solveig Gulbrandsen in the international draft. These two additions will bring the midfield back up to the level it was at prior to the departures.

The Defense and Goal Tending: The defense and goal tending for the FC Gold Pride was the second area that needed improvement at the end of the 2009 season. They held onto the cornerstone of the defense in Rachel Buehler and Carrie Drew. And then added Candace Chapman who was with the Boston Breakers last season and a Canadian women’s national team player. The Pride then used their second round pick to select Becky Edwards, a top defender from Florida State. The net minder from last season Nicole Barnhart will still work between the sticks for the Pride but should not see as many shots.

The FC Gold Pride will not be short of goals this season and will have a better defense than a year ago. They are a team which will attract crowds at whatever venue they play.

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

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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 14 other followers

Tweets

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.