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The Lowdown: Breakers active early in offseason

Sydney Leroux (2) is set to return to Boston, but which other allocated players will join her? (Photo copyright Linehan Photography for The Equalizer)

While the NWSL world waits for the allocation process to resolve itself the Boston Breakers are enjoying a proactive offseason.  Soon after the season ended they traded Carmelina Moscato to Seattle for Kaylyn Kyle.  And last week they snapped up Courtney Jones from FC Kansas City in exchange for a swap of 1st round picks.  Rather than pick 4th the Breakers will now go 7th.  For Jones it is a return to the club that drafted her in WPS and played her in WPSL Elite in 2012.

“It’s a trade that makes sense for us,” Breakers coach Tom Durkin said, “because number one the gals know her, and number two from everything I have heard she is a very solid professional.  And she is also capable of playing in a few different positions.  So we’re pretty pleased with that acquisition.”

Jones was a solid reserve in Kansas City this past season.  She appeared in every match, starting six, and scored four goals with an assist.  Her most likely role is in midfield where the addition of her and Kyle—who the team has already declared a midfielder—has created something of a crowd.

“We wanted to get a bit more speed into the midfield in terms of covering ground and ball recovery,” Durkin said of the Kyle trade, which was initiated by the Canada Soccer Association.  “We aren’t exactly sure how we’re going to play.  I don’t want to give too much away early on, but there is room for her.”

On the flip side the Breakers received some bad news over the weekend when Kyah Simon tore an ACL playing for Australia.  Simon will undergo surgery and her recovery is estimated at a full year.  Thus she will miss the 2014 season.

“Right now the concern is what’s going to happen with Kyah’s spot,” Durkin said.  “That was a big blow for us.”

As for Simon’s roster spot, Durkin said he believes the 22-year-old Aussie will spend the season on the club’s injured reserve list.  An NWSL spokesperson said that because Simon was injured playing for Australia, details are still being worked out as to what will happen with her roster and international spot.

The Jones trade was interesting because planning for the draft is difficult without knowing the full extent of which players will be allocated.  The Breakers should be safe to count on Kyle but what about Rhian Wilkinson? Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly look to be sure things, but that leaves the club due a third U.S. player since Heather Mitts retired earlier this year.

“That’s the million dollar question right now,” Durkin said.  “It sort of puts us in a holding pattern.”

With two trades since the end of the season the Breakers’ holding pattern appears to be slightly less than some other clubs.  In the Jones deal they essentially got a free player they know can contribute while dropping into a draft position with which they remain comfortable.

“I think the draft class is really good this year so I’m looking forward to it.  But I didn’t think there was that much difference nor did Lee Billiard (Breakers general manager) of the caliber of player that is going to be available at the 4th spot or the 7th spot.  So it just really works to our advantage.”

FC Kansas City obviously feel differently, and word is they have two players in mind they feel have a reasonable chance of being on the board when their No. 4 pick arrives.  The Blues are also a more complete team in terms of roster needs and it seems likely that all of their U.S. and Canadian allocations will return.

For the Breakers, as Durkin points out, “We’re looking at the draft but you don’t really know until you see where the allocated players are going to fit in.  It has to make sense for us positionally.”


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