On the heels of the recent announcement regarding the partnership between the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Scorpions Soccer Club, changes have already begun to take shape.
The teams were immediately re-branded as Boston Breakers Academy and have embraced the change positively. Beginning in 2013/14, the Breakers crest will appear on the current PUMA uniforms, an apparel contract Scorpions Soccer Club wanted to honor ahead of the partnership. The teams then will have new-look jerseys that sport Boston Breakers colors and are replica to the ones worn by the Boston Breakers NWSL team.
In the first year of the partnership, Boston Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard will coach the Boston Breakers Academy U17 ECNL team, while Boston Breakers Academy Director Jack Abelson will coach the U15 ECNL team, and Breakers Senior Team Coordinator Stephanie Schafer (Curry College and Wagner College) will take the U17 NPL team. Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole will play a vital role for the Boston Breakers Academy as Technical Director. The role of Technical Director will be to provide coach and player education for the program, along with helping to build curriculum content, a sound developmental pathway for players, coaches and also holding some guest sessions across the season.
"Scorpions SC has really come full circle," Director of Coaching Sydney Stoll said. "It is incredible to look back and think about its progression. This is beyond exciting to be affiliated with the Boston Breakers, an affiliation which will give the players an opportunity to be under the same umbrella as some of the best players in the world, enhance their playing experience, and give them an unmatched soccer training opportunity."
As the partnership grows, Boston Breakers players will also be a part of the staff, coaching teams at all levels. During the first year of transition, the Boston Breakers professional players will take part in club trainings and camps. Six Boston Breakers professional players will serve as age group mentors to the girls teams. The role will be to see every team and have direct contact with players in the specific age group they are mentoring. Additionally, the Breakers players will attend tryouts to help the staff evaluate players, and over the course of the season, host educational classes with Breakers Academy players in regards to being a student athlete, nutrition, fitness, becoming a pro player, and to give advice on the college recruitment process.
In the immediate short term, girls’ information from the Scorpions website will be transitioned across to www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com and social media platforms all coming out from current Boston Breakers sources.
The Scorpions Soccer Club front office staff will remain intact and will work closely with Boston Breakers front office staff to provide families an even greater level of communication and players a very structured development pathway, which starts at U9 and leads though Under 18, to Breakers College Academy, Reserve Team, and ending at the Senior professional team.
On how the Breakers Academy will develop, Club Director Fred Marks stated: "We are all working closely together to create a structure and environment where players and teams can develop in proximity to professional players with a true relationship between those professionals and the young girls who aspire to be like them. Our girls’ players are enthusiastic about the connection to Breakers and were excited to have already interacted with them at our U10 and 11 tryouts this week."
The Junior Academy program for those players 12 and under will not have direct conflicts with town programs. Players are still encouraged to train and play within their town. The Junior Academy program is an additional option for families and players who seek that extra elite training environment to help enhance their daughter’s development. Once a player enters the U13 and U14 Breakers Academy teams, the commitment does become greater, however, player conflicts with towns or other sports can be resolved. Only at U15 and up are players asked to make a full-time commitment to the Boston Breakers Academy.
Boston Breakers Academy team fees will have a slight increase. This increase is to cover additional training sessions, upgraded facilities, and training environment.
"We plan to make the Boston Breakers Academy program the destination for youth development," Billiard said. "Families will experience a more professional feel to the club, and players will be placed in an environment to succeed in terms of development across the board and competitiveness for the older ages. To build on the platform Scorpions Soccer Club already had in place is an easy task. They did a great job of building something special. I am looking forward to working with Fred Marks, Sydney Stoll, and the rest of the new Boston Breakers Academy members in order to make this program as successful, professional and beneficial for players as possible."
Boston Breakers Academy teams will compete in the following leagues: ECNL (Elite Club’s National League), NPL (National Premier Leagues), NEP (New England Premiership), and MAPLE (Massachusetts Premier League).
The Boston Breakers will be one of only two clubs in the U.S. with a youth club structure leading into the women’s professional league, the NWSL and only club in the nation that begins at the U9 level.
For more information or to register for upcoming U12-18 tryouts, visit www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com or www.scorpionssc.com.