Defender Kia McNeill signs with the Breakers

Gives Boston even more depth to the back line

  The Boston Breakers strengthened their back line even further by adding veteran defender and former Boston College star Kia McNeill.Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

 The Boston Breakers strengthened their back line even further by adding veteran defender and former Boston College star Kia McNeill. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 26-year-old from Avon, Conn., was one of the best defenders in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), beginning her career with Saint Louis Athletica before playing one season each with the Atlanta Beat (2010) and Philadelphia Independence (2011).

“I am thrilled that a women’s professional soccer league is back, and I am really looking forward to representing the Breakers in the NWSL,” McNeill said. “I am excited to join the Boston Breakers this year. Although I’ve played professionally in several locations, I’ve called Boston my second home since 2004 when I came here as a college player, then returned as an assistant coach and as a grad student. I love Boston, and it’s going to be nice playing here. I’m looking forward to working with Lisa Cole and being a part of a team with all the support in place to win a championship.”

McNeill, a former U.S. U-23 and U-19 national team defender, played in 58 WPS games, and 4,757 minutes, during her three-year career. She scored her first WPS goal on June 25, 2011, in a 3-1 win over the Washington Freedom. That same season, McNeill and the Independence reached the WPS Championship, which they lost on penalties to the Western New York Flash.

A four-year starter at Boston College, McNeill played in 86 straight matches, starting out as a forward before moving to the back line as a senior. During her senior season, McNeill anchored a defense that posted a 0.475 goals against average, which ranked sixth in the nation. The eighth all-time leading scorer at BC, McNeill finished her career with 61 career points. Before BC, McNeill won three state championships with Avon High School and was named the 2003 Connecticut Player of the Year.

“It’s important that women in the United States have a platform to showcase their talent and provide career aspirations to girls and young women who play the game,” McNeill added. “And the NWSL will do exactly that.”

In addition to playing locally throughout the years, McNeill has also coached in the area as an assistant since 2009 at her alma mater, Boston College.

“I’m excited about Kia,” Boston Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole said. “I think she’ll compliment Cat (Whitehill) on the back line. These are two of the best center backs in the league. I’m excited she’ll be in Boston, playing in front of her home crowd.”

Former Atlanta Beat defender Kia McNeill returns to New England

 

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