Breakers to retire Leslie Osborne's number at May 22 game vs. Sky Blue FC

(April 16, 2015) – The Boston Breakers announced today that the club will retire the No. 12 jersey worn by former Breakers captain and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Leslie Osborne.

(April 16, 2015) – The Boston Breakers announced today that the club will retire the No. 12 jersey worn by former Breakers captain and U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Leslie Osborne.

The ceremony will take place at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium on Friday, May 22, during halftime of the Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC match. As part of the jersey retirement, Osborne will be inducted into the Boston Breakers Pillars of Excellence, becoming just the fourth Breaker to earn such honor. The Pillars of Excellence currently features Maren Meinert, Angela Hucles, and Kristine Lilly.

“I will never forget my time in Boston, and I am forever grateful for all of the owners who helped allow me the opportunity to play professionally there,” Osborne said. “To have my number retired by Boston and be next to Kristine Lilly, Angela Hucles, and Maren Meinert is an incredible honor. Playing for Boston was really, really special. It was the best decision in my career.”

Leslie Osborne played three seasons in Boston

Osborne was acquired by the Breakers on Oct. 12, 2009 after playing the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer season with FC Gold Pride. The Brookfield, Wis. native played in 51 games (50 starts) in three seasons (2010, 2011, 2012) with the Breakers, logging 4,259 minutes. She served as Boston’s captain in each of her three seasons.

“My first year in 2010 was an incredible and crazy year,” Osborne said. “I got to co-captain with one of my good friends and lifelong role models, Kristine Lilly. I got to play with my good friend and rookie Jordan Angeli. Taryn Hemmings became one of my best friends and now business partner. Playing with Alex Scott and Kelly Smith for two seasons was the best. I embraced the city and they welcomed me - a blonde, Midwestern girl with the accent. I made lifelong friendships that I am forever thankful for and now have a second family.”

Osborne played under former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and 1999 Women’s World Cup winner Tony DiCicco during her first two seasons in Boston.

“Leslie Osborne was an outstanding captain, player and ambassador for the Boston Breakers,” DiCicco said. “For me, she was a joy to coach, her intensity was infectious, and her teammates loved playing with her. I am so delighted that she is being honored by the Boston Breakers and their fans.”

In her entire professional career, Osborne started in 68 of the 70 games she appeared in between the Breakers and FC Gold Pride. She played a total of 5,881 minutes.

“Boston was always that team and organization from the WUSA days with great coaches, players, staff, and overall following,” she said. “It was a big transition and move for me to leave FC Gold Pride and what I was comfortable in and move to Boston. Being part of the Boston community was amazing. Boston is so unique and all the teams and fans support each other. Our following was great, and to feel connected in the community along with the other top pro teams there was awesome. Boston became my home. I fell in love with the city, the restaurants, shopping, history, and my team. They were some of the best memories of my soccer career. Thanks, Boston, for an incredible three years.”

Capped 61 times for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Osborne played in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, helping lead the U.S. to bronze. Her first appearance with the U.S. came on Jan. 30, 2004, vs. Sweden. She scored her first goal on Oct. 1, 2006, vs. Chinese Taipei.

Osborne was recognized for her outstanding efforts both on and off the field.

"As a player, Leslie Osborne was a tenacious, world-class midfielder and team captain. Behind the scenes, Leslie was a relentless promoter and fundraiser of the women's pro game,” former Boston Breakers general manager Andy Crossley said. “She did a lot of very hard work that took place out of the public eye, which was essential to the fact that the Breakers are the longest-running women's team in America today."

Current Boston Breakers general manager Lee Billiard added: “Coming into the Breakers, I had only heard great things about Leslie as a role model, ambassador for the Boston Breakers, along with her constant public promotion of the women's game. Seeing her as a player, I got to witness her fantastic ability and a level of intensity that was unmatched. I am honored to have worked with Leslie and even more so to present her with this deserving recognition on behalf of the Breakers organization.”

To purchase tickets to the May 22 game and to all Boston Breakers home games, visit www.breakerstickets.com.

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