On January 11, the new National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) sent seven national team players from the United States, Canada and Mexico to the Boston Breakers, one of the eight founding teams in the new league.
The NWSL allocated its eight teams a total of 55 national team players from those nations, whose soccer federations will pay their salaries. The new league is organized and administered by U.S. Soccer.
Three members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal team and an Olympic bronze medalist from Canada will play for the Breakers. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly, forward Sydney Leroux, and defender Heather Mitts led the U.S. to gold in London last summer and Rhian Wilkinson helped Canada win bronze and played in 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Leroux is one of the rising stars of the U.S. Women’s National Team. The former UCLA star played in 27 games for the United States, all off the bench, and scored 14 goals. The 22-year-old from Los Angeles won the Golden Ball as the top scorer to lead the U.S. to the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title.
O’Reilly, a three-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012) returns for her second season with the Breakers. She only played two games last year, but has 179 caps and 36 international goals.
Mitts returns to Boston, having played for the Breakers in the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season and played 19 games in 2009. Mitts has been capped 137 times for the U.S. and won Olympic gold in 2012, 2008, and 2004.
Canadian Rhian Wilkinson plays all over the field and helped the Canadians to a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and won gold with Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Wilkinson most recently played for LSK in Norway’s top-flight league, Toppserien.
Canadian forward Adriana Leon, a 20-year-old forward, is currently competing in the Four Nations tournament in China.
Young Mexican forward Anisa Guajardo has been on the Mexico national team system for four years, from the U-17s to the U-20s. She most recently played at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., finishing her four-year college career with 27 goals and 14 assists.
Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago was a member of Mexico's World Cup team in 2011 at just 16 years old. She previously played for the club, Laguna in Mexico.
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