Fond memories papered over the long, slow demise of the Boston Breakers. The goodwill constructed over the course of three leagues and the better part of this century always influenced the view of the present. The troubling signs appeared upon careful (and sometimes cursory) inspection, but those recollections always governed.
Even as the Breakers’ professional team ceded its place ahead of the new NWSL season — announcing in late January that the club would fold after a final attempt to rescue the founding franchise with a potential buyer fell through — the enduring impressions recalled those high points and the stars that provided them.
Tony DiCicco (Wethersfield, Conn.) directed the Breakers from the sidelines. Alyssa Naeher (Seymour, Conn.) frustrated the opposition in goal. Monica Gonzalez and Kate Sobrero functioned as the organizing principles in defense. Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Angela Hucles, Leslie Osborne and Heather O’Reilly patrolled midfield. Maren Meinert and Lianne Sanderson pulled the strings in the final third. Sydney Leroux, Dagny Mellgren and Kelly Smith supplied the incisiveness in the final third.