JJ Duke takes a look at what the Boston Breakers might (and should) do in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. The Breakers are coming off a last-place finish in 2016, a stretch that dates back to the 2015 season.
1, 3, 8, 9, 11, 31, 38
- Rosie White (signing, last club: Liverpool)
- Emilie Haavi (signing, last club: LSK in Norway)
- Amanda DaCosta (acquired from Chicago Red Stars)
- Megan Oyster (acquired from Washington Spirit)
- Allysha Chapman (acquired from Houston Dash)
- Louise Schillgard (left club)
- Kassey Kallman (traded to Washington Spirit)
- Kristie Mewis (traded to Washington Spirit)
- Sinead Farrelly (retired)
- Jami Kranich (waived)
- Rachel Wood (waived)
- Katie Schoepfer (waived)
- Ghoutia Karchouni (waived)
- Eunice Beckmann (waived)
- Elise Kreighoff (waived)
Possible Draft Day Activity Level
Of all 10 teams in the NWSL, I expect a lot of the draft-day traffic buzz coming from the Breakers’ table. With this team currently occupying seven total picks that includes five in the first 11 overall, I wouldn’t be shocked if Head Coach Matt Beard and General Manager Lee Billiard package one (or more) of their second- and third-round selections to pick up an experienced player from a squad willing sell.
What the Breakers Need
The losses of Kassey Kallman and Kristie Mewis mean the Breakers have to fill two key starting roles. Along with those departures, the added losses of Louise Schillgard, Katie Schoepfer, and Eunice Beckmann equals roughly another starter plus a key reserve player role to fill. Plus, there is a massive question mark about whether Whitney Engen will return to Boston (probably not). So far this offseason, Beard has done a nice job in bolstering the roster with experienced players, which must make Breakers’ supporters pleased.
The acquisitions of Allysha Chapman and Megan Oyster strengthen one of 2016 worst defenses. Beard is also closer to finding a mature target striker to work with Natasha Dowie and Emilie Haavi. He is set on defensive midfielders and goalkeepers for the most part so it makes sense for him to look for depth and get both a center back and an outside player who would work mostly out of the back but can get into the attack, and a midfielder who can pull the strings from an advanced position and contribute from day one.
Boston: In my mind, you have one job to do. First, before you can continue with the rest of the Draft, select MORGAN ANDREWS with the first pick. She is a talent unlike any other in the midfield and already has the maturity to get the job done at the top level. In defense, Christina Gibbons or Maddie Bauer can fit into the defensive needs listed above and should be available at either the third or ninth pick, respectively. Gibbons loves to get into the attack and can almost play as an outside midfielder if needed, which is a secondary need for the Breakers but is still a valuable pick if still on the board. Bauer, like so many others, has youth national team experience and can fill in as a reserve center back and can flex out wide if necessary.
From that point, adding an extra striker or two wouldn’t hurt, especially with Haavi potentially missing a portion of the season for the Euros, along with another midfielder. McKenzie Meehan is another local product who has played for the Breakers College team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) for several years so if she’s around in the early-to-mid second round, the Breakers should look to take the goal-scoring machine who has delivered goals at the college and youth national team levels.