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Archive for January 30, 2018

Jan. 30, 2018 — Bye-bye, Boston

The announcement over the weekend that the Boston Breakers of the NWSL have ceased operations is something that was, frankly, completely preventable.

When the Breakers rebooted operations as a USSF Division I club after the dissolution of Women’s Professional Soccer, the NWSL club was a series of missteps, mishaps, and misfortune. The first misstep was to start its NWSL iteration at Dilboy Field, located in a public park in Somerville, Mass.

The pitch, by all accounts, was terrible. U.S. international Sydney Leroux took the time to post pictures of scars on her legs, blaming it on the artificial grass and rocks embedded in the rubber blades of the Dilboy Stadium competition surface.

Throughout the NWSL years, the Breakers’ franchise also turned out not to be very good. The team never finished with a record above .500, and never made the playoffs.  Too, the team had built its brand early on using players who were past their prime, and could not draft their way into contention.

I think the team also missed out on the influence of former U.S. women’s head coach Tony DiCicco, who coached the team in its WUSA and WPS eras, but who had retired in 2011. In the same article that announced his retirement, it was expressing hope for a majority owner for its entry into the NWSL.

Six years later, the Breakers were the sad-sack franchise that couldn’t pay its players, were playing in a 5,000-seat ground on the athletic campus of Harvard, and, eventually, were folded.

As I posited a couple of days ago, there should have been an easy solution to the problem found in Robert Kraft, the owner of the men’s MLS team, the New England Revolution.

But it was, apparently, too much to ask.