New England Soccer Today

Breakers Wheel & Deal to Get Florida’s Westphal at No. 3


The Boston Breakers certainly made a splash at Friday’s NWSL Draft by trading up for the third overall pick to select University of Florida defender Christen Westphal, while tabbing University of Virginia forward Brittany Ratcliffe and University of Texas goalkeeper Abby Smith in the later rounds.

Westphal, whom the Breakers were able to land after sending the top spot in the Allocation Order to Portland in exchange for the third pick and fourth spot in the Allocation Order, was a two-time NSCAA All-American for the Gators. She started in all but one of the 96 games she appeared in, ending her career with four goals and 17 assists.

“She’s a player I like and admire, but we didn’t think we’d be in position (to draft her) previously with our pick being 17, but of course when the trade happened, we knew we were going to be the third pick, and she was someone I wanted to bring to the club,” Breakers head coach Matt Beard said in a club release. “We needed to bring in an outside back, a fullback. She can also play center back so she gives me some flexibility in regards to playing center back and right back.

“It’s an area we felt we needed to strengthen, and I think she’s one of the best kids in the country right now in those two positions. We are delighted we have managed to bring her here, and I’m excited to work with her.”

Westphal, a Brecksville, Ohio native, is a three-time all SEC First team selection. She was recently called into camp for the United States U-23 Women’s National Team, which will run from Jan. 18-25.

“I’m extremely excited. This is a huge opportunity and something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s incredible that it’s come true,” Westphal said. “I’m focused on being able to play my best and make an impact coming in.”

At No. 17 overall, the Breakers drafted Ratcliffe, a forward out of University of Virginia. Ratcliffe made 93 appearances (50 starts) for the Cavaliers, scoring 26 goals and recording 16 assists in four seasons and being named to the Third Team All-ACC in 2015.

After a trade with the Chicago Red Stars landed the Breakers the No. 27 overall pick in exchange for the No. 32 and No. 35 picks, Beard and Co, selected Smith. She led the Big 12 in saves in 2015 and was a national finalist for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award.

Like Westphal, Smith will head to California to train with the U-23 National Team.

All three are expecting to join the club when it kicks off its preseason camp in March.

Leave a Reply