New England Soccer Today

Breakers’ Rafinha Makes WWC Debut

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Less than a week after getting a late-call up from Brazil, Breakers midfielder Rafinha made her Women’s World Cup debut in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over South Korea in Group E play.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who made her debut with Brazil’s senior team in 2013, came on in the 90th minute for Andressa Alves to help the squad see out the victory. The match itself proved historic, as Rafinha’s teammate, Marta, set the all-time Women’s World Cup scoring record by notching her 15th career tournament goal in the 53rd minute.

Rafinha received the call-up to her first World Cup roster last Friday after an injury to defender Erika forced Brazilian coach Vadão to make the necessary roster addition.

Last week, Breakers coach Tom Durkin said in a team release that he wasn’t surprised that Rafaela was selected to represent Brazil, which is seventh in the FIFA Women’s Rankings, at the World Cup.

“(Vadão) was over the moon with the form she showed,” Durkin said on Friday. “Her fitness and the improvements she made from a physical standpoint while she was with the Breakers. So, she has really benefited from playing in the states and in this league, we couldn’t be more proud of that.”

Rafinha, who’s played six games for the Breakers this season, is the club’s set piece specialist. Her 21 corner kicks rank second in all of NWSL.

Brazil returns to action on Saturday when they face 14th-ranked Spain at 4pm ET on Fox Sports 1.

Leave a Reply