What Is The Effect Of End Of The Boston Breakers On The NWSL?
You could say that it’s make or break really for the National Women’s Soccer League right now. The Boston Breakers have folded and this has come right at the time where the league could move in the right direction, becoming stronger or it could see the return of ghosts from the past. Either way, this is the offseason which will likely define which directions the NWSL goes in, and many will look back at this period where everything changed.
The Breakers are going to be a huge loss to the professional women’s soccer game in the USA for many reasons. First of all they are the only team that has taken part in every top flight season so far. This includes the WUSA between the years 2001-2003, the WPS 2009-2011 and then the NWSL from 2013 to the present day.
They also managed to attract some of the finest female footballers to ever play the game. Kristine Lilly, Kelly Smith and Maren Meinert all plied their trade for the Breakers and they were accompanied by some superb coaches too. The late Tony DiCicco stands out as one of the best and he was in charge during the days of the WPS.
However, as time went on and other teams modernized, the Breakers struggled to really adapt, and they became one of only eight of the original sides to be in the original NWSL never to make the playoffs. Over the course of the last four campaigns they have finished either bottom or second bottom and never really looked like being able to get anywhere near to a playoff place.
The Breakers’ untimely folding now means that the NSWL, which had recently spoken about having a 10 strong league, will now be forced into playing with just 9 sides in 2018. Utah made a play to acquire the Breakers but instead they took on FC Kansas City. There was also talk that a local Boston group was looking at making a move, but this never came to fruition in the end either.
Many people are of the view that the Breakers folding could just be the tip of the iceberg, in an offseason where there is said to be much change afoot. Whichever way people choose to look at it, the fact that the league has now declared that it will run with just nine teams shows how unstable the whole situation is, especially as it was only announced a matter of weeks before the season is due to start. Nevertheless, established sports betting sites like Unibet, are still very keen to cover the season and all matches; as there is still a huge appetite for the sport.
Others though prefer to take a more optimistic look at the latest evens. The 2019 expansion plans look like they should actually go ahead and it’s thought that ownership changes and the like need to happen prior to the expansion. That they’re a sort of necessary evil before any new franchises join the system. Time will tell when it comes to just how much of an impact the Breakers’ departure has but change is definitely afoot.
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