September 25, 2008 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Boston Breakers
BOSTON (September 24, 2008) - The Boston Breakers took an offensive-minded approach to Wednesday afternoon's Women\'s Professional Soccer (WPS) International Draft. The Breakers were officially assigned the WPS-playing rights to world-class stars Kelly Smith (midfield) of England, Brazilians Fabiana (forward) and Maycon (midfield), and Japan's Shinobu Ohno (forward).
"This is a pretty exciting draft for us," said Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco. "Our goal was to zero in on the attacking personalities. We think we will sign all four, but we are also prepared for some of the challenges that will come up in our negotiations with their current clubs and their agents."
Smith, who has 71 caps (appearances) and 27 goals with the English National Team, was the only England player in the former women's pro league in America when she was a member of the Philadelphia Charge (WUSA), along with current Boston Breaker Heather Mitts. Widely considered one of the top players in the world, Smith was the Breakers' first round selection (third overall).
"Kelly Smith is one of the greatest players in the world," said DiCicco. "I am hoping we can bring her flair, range of play and scoring ability, which would complement our team well."
Fabiana and Maycon each played on Brazil's silver medal winning Olympic Team this past summer in Beijing. Fabiana, an up-and-coming forward, came off the bench in both Brazil's semifinal and final matches against Germany and the United States, respectively. She scored a pair of goals during the 2006FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Maycon, a veteran of three FIFA World Cup and Olympic tournaments each, known for her speed and dribbling ability.
"Fabiana is very fast and fits that quick Brazilian mold with lot of flair," said DiCicco. "She is young and will be fun for fans to watch develop.
"Maycon has a lot of experience and has wonderful consistency. She has very little drop-off during the 90 minutes, much like (current Boston Breaker) Kristine Lilly whom I'm sure would appreciate that. She is very versatile with the ability to play centrally or out wide."
Ohno has the chance to join popular Boston Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima as another professional athlete from Japan playing in Boston. American fans may recall the 24-year old forward opened the scoring in this summer's Olympic semifinal match against the United States with a goal in the 17th minute, her second tally of the tournament (the U.S. would come back to win 4-2 en route to the gold medal).
"Ohno is one of the exciting young Japanese players," said DiCicco. "She is a wonderful possession player; quick and technical who can create and score. She would fit in nicely."
Each team was allowed to draft four international players, providing teams with the opportunity to begin a formal negotiation process with each selected player upon receiving permission from that player\'s current club. The draft does not reflect any intent or commitment on the player\'s behalf to sign with this team or that any offer has been made to the player. Rather, it signifies the beginning of the process by which each team will move forward according to the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. These regulations govern the relationships between players and clubs around the world.
The first step will begin with a formal notification from that WPS team to the respective player\'s club regarding their interest in this player and serve as a notification of their intent to enter into negotiations with the player. Teams will only be allowed to move forward with a formal negotiation process once it has been confirmed that the player is in the last six months of her contract or if her respective club grants access to the player if her contract extends beyond the six month window. From this point, each team will work with the player to negotiate a mutually acceptable contract.
The confidential order of selections was based on a weighted ranking voted on by league coaches following the U.S. Women\'s National Team allocations on Tuesday, September 16. TheWPS International Draft will be followed in October by a general draft of non-allocated U.S. players and remaining international players.
The Boston Breakers inaugural twenty-one game season (with 10 or 11 home games) will open in April of 2009 and continue through August. The team recently announced Harvard Stadium as its home venue and that Season Ticket Packages are on sale, beginning at $130. For package details and a seating chart, visit www.bostonbreakers.com.