Players turned coaches relishing their opportunity

Breakers spending time on the sidelines with local teams

A handful of Breakers have spent the better part of the offseason still on the soccer field, remaining active in the game. But they’re not exactly on the field themselves. They’re coaching college, high school, youth, and club teams in the greater Boston area.

“As an organization, we are thrilled to have Boston Breakers players coaching in local communities," General Manager Lee Billiard said. "We are not only focused on our professional athletes competing on the field, but we are focused on educating young soccer players and making a strong footprint building grass roots soccer in Massachusetts.”

The players who are coaching here in Boston, include the Breakers’ Boston University trio of keeper Alice Binns, who serves as the junior varsity coach at Weston High School, defender Katherine Donnelly, who is coaching with Acton Boxboro Youth Soccer, and forward Jess Luscinski, who pulls double duty, working as an assistant coach at Framingham State University and also coaching with Newton Girls Soccer.

"So far, coaching with Framingham State this fall has been an amazing experience. Being on the coaching side of the game rather than being a player has been a new experience for me, and I have been able to learn so much in these past few months that has helped make me a better player," Luscinski said. "My job has been made so easy with this team. They are all eager to learn as much as they can, and all have a love for the game that makes it enjoyable to go to training every day. And, I have honestly been able to learn so much from them as well. The team is looking to be competitive to be one of the teams in the running for a good position for playoffs."

Luscinski also enjoys coaching the younger kids over in Newton.

"The coaching for Newton Girls Soccer has been really enjoyable as well," she said. "I’ve been coaching with a U12 team, and I did a session with a U9 team, and it’s refreshing to see a group of young girls truly love just playing soccer. It’s a great privilege to be able to give back to these youth programs, which these girls are the future of this sport, and help these girls develop an understanding and love for the game."

Midfielder Heather O’Reilly, when not playing and training with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its Fan Tribute Tour this fall, has helped out as an assistant coach at Northeastern University. Midfielder Bianca D’Agostino can be found coaching Newton Girls Soccer. And, forward Katie Schoepfer is coaching in Acton-Boxboro with the U10 girls’ Strikers United team.

"So far, we are undefeated. I have a lot of fun coaching these girls. Sometimes they can be a handful when all they want to do is talk about how much cooler One Direction is than Justin Bieber, but it has been great to watch them grow as soccer players, and know that I had something to do with it,’ Schoepfer. "My favorite part of coaching them is when I teach them a concept, then I see them using what I taught them in a game situation. I have tried to teach them the importance of keeping possession, passing to feet, and we try and score off crosses as much as possible. I emphasize just having fun and not worrying about the score, and they continue to learn and show a great passion for the game. They have exceeded all of my expectations in terms of their talent and work ethic. I am like a proud mom when I talk about these girls because I have never been more proud of a team that I have been involved with in a coaching role."

Donnelly has also been coaching for a Strikers United boys team team in Acton and for 5- and 6-year-olds in Newton Girls Soccer, along with D'Agostino.

"It's been great so far and definitely a new experience for me because I have been coaching boys," Donnelly said. "Coaching the 5- and 6-year-olds with Bianca is so fun. It's great for me to be able to experience the difference between coaching boys half the week and girls the other half. There are different things both want to learn. I like being able to teach the little girls the very basics and see how excited they are just to play and kick the ball around. It's also rewarding for me to be able to teach the boys the techniques that I have learned growing up and seeing how happy they are when everything comes together. So the fall season for both teams have been great so far, and I'm and looking forward to the winter."

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