Kristine Lilly will be returning to Boston with the new Breakers. (CHRIS ADUAMA/aduama.com)
"We are absolutely thrilled to have Angela and Kristine return to the Boston Breakers, and also to welcome Heather to our team," said Breakers President and General Manager Joe Cummings. "We are fortunate to have been allocated three players of such high quality. They will provide our coaching staff an excellent base to build our team around."
Hucles and Mitts were each starters for the U.S. Olympic Team and won their second-consecutive gold medals last month at the Beijing Games, a tournament Lilly - a two-time gold medalist herself in 1996 and 2004 - missed due to the birth of her daughter, Sidney Marie, on July 22.
After having played for the Boston Breakers of WUSA, both Hucles and Lilly chose to remain in the Boston area.
"I am delighted with our allocation," said Boston head coach Tony DiCicco, who coached the U.S. to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup championship. "We not only have three outstanding players but they are amazing people and role models.
"Kristine is a legend in the game and it is a thrill to be coaching her again. Her leadership and inspiration will excite and energize her teammates. Heather will anchor our defense. She has excellent speed and was very impressive as part of the defensive unit that shut out Brazil in the Gold Medal game last month. Angela was the leading scorer for the USA in their Gold Medal run. She has great versatility as a player being able to play a number of positions and is very experienced.
"This is a great start for the Boston Breakers."
Each of the seven teams set to begin play in WPS for the 2009 season were allocated three players apiece from the U.S. Women's National Team pool. The allocation followed an extensive process in which the players and teams submitted their preferences to the league and a committee then examined the lists to give its recommendations. The WPS Board of Governors met on Sept. 14-15 to consult with players, teams and the league to determine the best possible dispersal for all parties with the following allocation results:
WPS Player Allocations U.S. Women's National Team
Bay Area: Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler, Leslie Osborne
Boston Breakers: Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Heather Mitts
Chicago Red Stars: Carli Lloyd, Kate Markgraf, Lindsay Tarpley
Los Angeles: Shannon Boxx, Stephanie Cox, Aly Wagner
Sky Blue FC: Natasha Kai, Heather O'Reilly, Christie Rampone
St. Louis: Lori Chalupny, Tina Ellertson, Hope Solo
Washington Freedom: Ali Krieger, Abby Wambach, Cat Whitehill
Next up for WPS will be the international draft of top global stars the week of Sept. 22, which will assign teams the rights to negotiate with four premier international players. That will be followed by a draft of remaining players in early October and again in January. The order of the international draft will depend on the weighted rankings voted on by teams following the U.S. Women's National Team allocation with the weakest-rated team selecting first and the strongest-weighted team selecting last.
The Boston Breakers inaugural twenty-one game season (with 10 or 11 home games) will open in April of 2009 and continue through August.
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