The Boston Breakers are closing up shop, at least for now.
The National Women’s Soccer League announced Sunday night the Breakers have ceased operations ahead of the upcoming campaign. The Breakers’ demise follows a lengthy — and ultimately unsuccessful — search for a new owner.
“The Boston Breakers are one of the longest running and most historic clubs in women’s soccer, so we certainly understand that fans of the NWSL and the sport will be disappointed to learn of the club’s decision to cease operations,” NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy said in a statement. “In the best interest for the long-term viability of the NWSL, we will operate with nine clubs in 2018 to ensure a stronger league where all parties involved are aligned and committed to the core mission of continued growth and development as we move into our sixth season.”
The Breakers will refund money to fans who purchased season tickets to games at Harvard University’s Jordan Field.
The NWSL on Tuesday will conduct a dispersal draft for Breakers players, who’ll join one of the other nine NWSL teams and not count against roster-size rules or the salary cap.
The regular season will kick off the weekend of March 24-25. The 2018 NWSL title game will take place Sept. 22.
The Breakers’ folding might be temporary if a new owner emerges.
“It’s a market that we believe in,” Duffy told The Associated Press. “It’s a brand that has a great historical reputation in women’s professional soccer. With many of the groups we’ve spoken to over the last few months and over the last few days, we hope to continue those conversations to look at 2019 or beyond as expansion opportunities.”
The Breakers once stood alone as the only club to have played in every professional, first-division women’s soccer season in the United States: WPS (between 2001-03), WUSA (2009-11) and NWSL (2013-present). Their impressive run has ended, but local soccer fans should hope they return to the field as soon as possible.
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