The Boston Breakers, a member of the National Women’s Soccer League, are one of Boston sports hidden gems. They play a 24-match regular season, with 12 home and 12 away matches. Home matches are played at Jordan Field in Allston, which is on the campus of Harvard and also home to Harvard soccer and lacrosse. The Breakers are one of ten teams who play in the NWSL, playing their matches from mid-April through the end of September, which are followed by the league playoffs. The team is currently coached by Matt Beard and frequently consists of national team players from both the United States and other countries around the world.
Although the NWSL was only founded back in 2013, the Boston Breakers where founded back at the turn of the century in 2000. The Breakers were founded as a charter member of the Women’s United Soccer Association and played in the league from 2001-2003, when the league suspended operations in September 2003. The team saw great success in the WUSA, winning a Community Service Award as well as leading the league in attendance in 2002. In 2003 head coach Pia Sundhage (who went on to coach the United States Women’s National Team) won Coach of the Year and Maren Meinhart won the MVP while the team finished 10-4-7 and reached the semifinals.
The Breakers were re-established in 2007 as of one of seven teams in the Women’s Soccer Initiative, which later became Women’s Professional Soccer. The Breakers played in the league’s inaugural season in 2009 through the league’s final season in 2011. The team once again saw incredible success, with two playoff appearances in 2010 and 2011 that included a semifinal appearance in 2010. Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet won Defender of the Year in 2009 and 2010 and the 2011 season saw multiple players win Player of the Week honors. The team was led by Tony DiCicco, who managed the US Women’s National Team to a World Cup title in 1999. In 2012, the team participated in the only season of Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite and lost in the semifinals. In April 2013, they began play in the NWSL, where they play games today.
The Breakers currently play their home games at Jordan Field, which is a renovated version of the former Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The stadium is located adjacent to historic Harvard Stadium and along the banks of the Charles River. A 2015 renovation of the facility increased seating capacity up to 4,100 for Breakers games. Crowds for Breakers games have exceeded 4,000 fans on many occasions, including home matches against the Washington Spirit in 2015 and 2016.
Breakers games are very affordable to attend for a family in the Boston area looking for a night of fun. Single game tickets go as low as $20 per ticket, while a season ticket for all 12 matches come as low as $275 with perks that include a Breakers Bucks Rewards Program. The team offers lots of different ticket packages which includes: Family Pack, 3-game packs, Mini Breakers, Group Tickets and Flex Packs. The packages offer fans a wide variety of ways to enjoy the game and the flexibility to do it on their schedule without breaking the bank. Be sure to check their website and Twitter account for promotions that the team will run on game-day.
The Boston Breakers have a wide variety of development programs in hopes of building both the sport of women’s soccer as well as the success of the Breakers. The team sponsors and hosts Development Camps, Residential Camps, Development Training, have an official Performance Training Center program and host a 4v4 tournament every year called the Shoe City Classic. The team also runs the Boston Breakers Academy, which consists of 10 steps for players to make it to the pro level, which starts with camps & clinics and leads all the way to the U20 Academy Team, College Academy U23, Reserve Team and the Pro team in the NWSL. The academy has four locations across Massachusetts, with fields in Mendon, Marlborough, Norfolk, Taunton.
The Breakers recently founded a charitable organization called Sports Fitness and Leadership Foundation. The non-profit’s mission statement reads as:
The Corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes, including, without limitation, promoting and advancing physical fitness and the moral and mental development of members of the community, partciularly young people, through participation in athletic and recreational activities. Among its objectives, the Corporation shall endeavor to provide public access to sports complexes and playing fields, and shall organize and supervise community use of these facilities for competitive and non-competitive athletic activities and educational opportunities on behalf of the general public.
Be sure to catch the game on the Breakers schedule that you fits right for you. And if you can’t make a game at Jordan Field, watch a game on Lifetime, who started a new deal with the NWSL in 2017 as a top level partner and TV provider for one Saturday game per week to be televised.