New England Soccer Today

Breakers add Seven Players

Heather O'Reilly returns to the Breakers for 2013. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Heather O’Reilly returns to the Breakers for 2013. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Former Boston Breakers stars Heather O’Reilly and Heather Mitts were among seven players added to the team’s roster via the National Women’s Soccer League allocation draft on Friday.

Mitts played for the club in 2009, while O’Reilly spent a portion of last summer in Boston in between U.S. Women’s National Team stints.  In addition to Mitts and O’Reilley, the club also added Canadian internationals Rhian Wilkinson and Adriana Leon as well as Mexican internationals Anisa Guajardo and Cecilia Santiago.

“This is an exciting time for the Boston Breakers as we start building our team for the 2013 NWSL season,” Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard said in a statement. “We are delighted to have these seven world class players join our club.”

The additions provide a mix of veteran and young class to various areas of the soccer field. Mitts, 34, is a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and 2011 World Cup participant and re-joins the Breakers after leaving the club in 2009.

Mitts and O’Reilly, who is also a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and a participant of four World Cups, will team up with a Breakers roster that already has a foundation of international talent. But the Breakers’ mission for the draft appears to have more to do with signing younger, proven players to mix in with the already-talented base.

That’s why LeRoux, 22, could be the Breakers’ shrewdest selection, as she is both a young and proven rising star on the international level. LeRoux is a crisp passer and is known for her surging runs into the penalty area and has 17 goals in 34 games with the U.S. national team.

Wilkinson, who has 131 caps with the Canadian National Team, is probably the most versatile player on the Breakers roster. Wilkinson, 30, earned a Bronze Medal with Canada at the 2012 London Olympic Games and has featured in forward, midfield, and defense roles at all levels of soccer.

Meanwhile, adding Leon, 20, provides the Breakers with more offensive depth. A star at University of Florida, Leon has yet to feature on the Canadian senior team, though she has notched seven goals in eight appearances for the U-20 team.

Guajardo further deepens the Breakers’ pool of forwards, which was an issue going into the off-season following the departure of Kyah Simon. At the age of 16, Guajardo competed for Mexico in 2011 World Cup. Guajardo also had a sterling career with Pepperdine University, converting 27 goals and adding 17 assists.

Finally, after beginning last season with just one goalkeeper, the Breakers seem to have gotten depth between the pipes squared away well ahead of the season opener. Cecilia Santiago, 18, has 16 appearances for the Mexican senior team and competed in the U-17 CONCACAF Gold Cup and U-20 World Cup.


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