Her club career spanned 102 games across two leagues with the Boston Breakers. She scored 20 goals and added 34 assists with the Breakers, all while earning 352 caps with the U.S. women’s national team. She cored 130 times for her country and won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals.
It’s safe to say Kristine Lilly is a legend.
Boston’s most well-known all-time player and one of the best ever in the women’s game carries a name that resonates with fans, which surely played a role in Friday’s announcement that the Breakers have added Lilly as an assistant coach for the upcoming WPSL Elite League season. Lisa Cole is Boston’s head coach.
Lilly retired in January 2011, just six months ahead of what could have been her record sixth World Cup appearance.
“I’m excited to work with the Breakers this year and continue to help promote and grow the game of soccer,” Lilly said. “My professional playing career has only been with the Breakers, and now it’s nice to join the team as a coach.”
Lilly developed the nickname “Iron Woman,” and “Iron Lady” for her strong, consistent play. She served as the model of consistency through the first two years of WPS, defying the conventional wisdom that says a player cannot still be in top shape in her late 30’s. Lilly played every minute for the Breakers in their inaugural WPS season in 2009. That all followed a successful three years with the club in WUSA from 2001-2003.
When I spoke with Lilly only about a year ago, she seemed to be more interested in training and running camps as opposed to coaching, so this could be a way for her to get a taste of the coaching side in a familiar setting. Either way, it continues to make Boston – already boasting a roster of Leslie Osborne, Cat Whitehill and Heather O’Reilly, who is on the roster but may not play – the most high profile team in the WPSL Elite League.
The Breakers also announced their 2012 WPSL Elite League schedule on Friday. The team will play each of the other seven teams once at home and once away. Click here for the full breakdown.
FC Indiana also has its schedule out (click here). Not every team has released its schedule and the league is yet to release an official schedule.
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