The Boston Breakers continues to be one of the most active teams in WPS this offseason. The team shored up its back four after agreeing to contract terms with Rachel Buehler and Kasey Moore last week.
Now the Breakers have bolstered its attack. The team is set to announce the signings of former FC Gold Pride player Kelley O’Hara and former Chicago Red Star Nikki Washington.
O’Hara and Washington will be joining Lauren Cheney at the forward position. The addition of the two players means that the Boston Breakers will feature three of the top five picks from the 2010 WPS Draft.
O’Hara was one of WPS’ most precocious rookies last season, scoring six goals and four assists in 18 games, 16 of which she started. The former Stanford Cardinal was a key component in FC Gold Pride’s title run last season.
Breakers General Manager Andy Crossley tells All White Kit there is a calculated risk involved in taking O’Hara, who is among the WPS players on the cusp of the United States Women’s National Team. That will likely be a running theme league-wide this offseason as teams continue to systematically build their rosters in a World Cup year. (Lindsay Tarpley’s name also belongs in that conversation). O’Hara earned her first USWNT caps in the series of friendlies against Mexico in March. She also appeared in the Sweden friendly July 17 and traveled with the team for the China friendlies in October.
The Boston Breakers will be Nikki Washington’s fifth WPS club in just under one year. Washington was drafted 5th overall by the Los Angeles Sol, acquired by Sky Blue FC in the Dispersal Draft, dealt to the Saint Louis Athletica and signed by the Chicago Red Stars as a free agent. The ex-Tar Heel spent most of the season nursing injuries and gained match fitness towards the end of the season, appearing in five total games for Chicago.
Boston Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco has high praise for Washington.
“Nikki Washington is an excellent addition to the Breakers. She is a 1v1 ‘take-on” artist who can break down defenses single handedly with her speed and trickery. She is also a very good player who sees the game and defends as well as she attacks. She is a solid leader and served as one of my captains when we won the 2008 U20 World Cup in Chile. I think the Breaker fans will love what Nikki brings to the team and to the field.”
The Breakers’ 2010 season was concluded in the Super Semifinal when the team lost 2-1 to the Philadelphia Independence. After a turgid start, Boston experienced a tremendous midseason turnaround and finished the regular season in second place. The team looks to improve upon that record. The addition of two young, promising forwards adds depth and strength to an already solid squad.