Boston Breakers folds

NWSL Announces Boston Breakers to Cease Operations

The National Women’s Soccer League announced today that the Boston Breakers will cease operations, effective immediately.

The 2018 NWSL season will now feature a nine-team, single-table alignment with a 24-game schedule that will see each club play three games against every opponent in the league.

“The Boston Breakers are one of the longest running and most historic clubs in women’s soccer, so we certainly understand that fans of the NWSL and the sport will be disappointed to learn of the club’s decision to cease operations,” said NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy. “In the best interest for the long-term viability of the NWSL, we will operate with nine clubs in 2018 to ensure a stronger league where all parties involved are aligned and committed to the core mission of continued growth and development as we move into our sixth season.”

Breakers fans who have placed deposits on their 2018 season tickets will be contacted, and provided full refunds.

“We do not doubt the fan support or interest in women’s soccer in Boston or New England, and the measure taken by the Breakers organization does not reflect the passion we have seen from our fans,” Duffy added. “We sincerely thank you for your years of commitment, and we look forward to one day returning to the city of Boston.”

In conjunction with this announcement, NWSL will conduct a Dispersal Draft of the Boston roster at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 30. All Breakers players will be placed into a Dispersal Draft pool – including players selected in the 2018 College Draft. The weighted draw for the Dispersal Draft Order will be determined the morning of Monday, Jan. 29.

Players may opt-out of the draft by noon ET on Monday, Jan. 29 to pursue opportunities outside of the NWSL and would not become discovery eligible to return to the league until after the end of the 2018 season. Teams will be allowed to trade their picks in the draft following the weighted draw until 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 30 following which a final Dispersal Draft order will be released.

For the 2018 season, NWSL roster size will remain unchanged, with a minimum of 18 players and a maximum of 20 players required for each club.

Contracted players (including allocated players) and 2018 College Draft picks selected via the Dispersal Draft will not count against the club’s official 18-20 player roster for the 2018 season, and teams may add up to a total of four (4) players. They will not count against the club’s salary cap for the 2018 season, and housing and auto expenses will not count against the Permitted Team Assistance Cap. Teams will be responsible for all additional salary and Permitted Team Assistance expenses for contracted players and 2018 draftees selected in the Dispersal Draft.

Players on Boston’s Discovery list and retired players whose rights are selected and go on to sign a standard player agreement will count against the club’s official 18-20 player roster for the 2018 season. These players will also count against the club’s salary cap for the 2018 season, nd all expenses will count against the Permitted Team Assistance Cap.

Any team requiring an international roster spot for a contracted player and 2018 draftee selected will receive an additional international spot, which will stay with the player if traded during the current season.

Any player participating the Dispersal Draft who is not selected will immediately become discovery eligible.

See below for a breakdown of the timeline, order and rules for the Dispersal Draft.

2018 NWSL Dispersal Draft Timeline

Monday, Jan. 29

12 p.m. ET – Players window to opt-out of the draft closes
2 p.m. ET – Announcement of draft order and available players

Tuesday, Jan. 30

1 p.m. ET – Trade window closes for draft picks
2 p.m. ET – Announcement of final draft order
4 p.m. ET – 2018 Dispersal Draft

Draft Order

To determine the draft order, the NWSL will hold a random weighted draw using an envelope method and will utilize a snake method for the selection process. The system will be weighted by giving one envelope to each team that qualified for the playoffs and two envelopes to each non-playoff team.

Draft Envelopes

1 – North Carolina Courage
1 – Portland Thorns FC
1 – Orlando Pride
1 – Chicago Red Stars
2 – Seattle Reign FC
2 – Sky Blue FC
2 – Utah Royals FC (via KC)
2 – Houston Dash
2 – Washington Spirit

Draft Rules

Assets available via draft include the following:

  • Players under contract with NWSL whose rights are assigned to Boston (including allocated players)
  • Players whose rights are controlled by Boston (including retired players)
  • Rights to players on Boston’s Discovery List

The Dispersal Draft will last until all teams have passed or no players or other assets are available for selection.

  • Each team will have two (2) minutes to make its selection.
  • No time-outs will be permitted.
  • Teams may not make trades during the draft.
  • Teams are permitted to “pass” when it is their turn to make a selection. Once a team has passed on a selection, the team forfeits the remainder of its selections in the dispersal draft.


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