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These Are The Boston Breakers: Kelly Smith

Todd Civin@https://twitter.com/toddcivin1Senior Writer IApril 14, 2009

TIANJIN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 22: Kristine Lilly (L) of USA battles a ball with Kelly Smith of England during the Womens World Cup 2007 Quarter Final match between the USA and England at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium September 22, 2007 in Tianjin, China.  (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)

Each day, Todd Civin will present a different member of the Boston Breakers Soccer Team as part of his "These are The Boston Breakers" series.

The Boston Breakers set their sites "across the pond" to gain the services of English midfielder Kelly Smith. After Smith earned the first ever Player of the Week honors for the newly formed Women's Professional Soccer League (WPS)  the team sees Smith as being a "jolly good" addition.

"A four-year contract adds longevity to my career," Smith said. "It's been great playing for Arsenal, they've been really good to me and it's a wrench to leave. But they've got more than enough quality to still be the best team in the country.

Smith, who was once called  "The Best Player In The World" by Dutch coach Vera Pauw, played her college ball at Seton Hall University but still calls Watford, England her home. While at Seton Hall, she set numerous Big East records and was the first female athlete to be selected as  "Big East Newcomer of the Year".

The Breakers obtained her WPS playing rights with the second overall pick in the WPS Initial International Draft.

As an international star, Smith led England to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals scoring four goals in the tournament.  She began her career at 16, joining the England National team in 1995.

In 2009, Smith scored with 13 minutes left in a match between England and Spain, which ended in a 2-2 draw. Her performance earned England a place in the Euro Championships 2009 in Finland.

She scored a hat-trick against Holland in World Cup qualifiers in 2006, which caused Dutch coach Vera Pauw, to utter his claim of Smith as the World's top player. She scored four goals in the 2007 World Cup in China for England.

The striker has been awarded the Women’s International Player of the Year title in 2005 and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2008.

For her career with England she has scored 33 goals in 76 international matches for England.

Smith was originally drafted in 2000 by the Philadelphia Charge of the Women's United Soccer Association, the now defunct predecessor to the WPS. She played for the Charge until 2003 before becoming part of the New Jersey Wildcats. 

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Her most memorable stint has been with Arsenal Ladies,  where she was instrumental in helping her team clinch the Premier League title in 2004-05 season and then repeated her performance in 2006-2007, scoring 29 goals.  Overall, for the Arsenal Ladies she tallied 100 goals in 112 matches.

In 2008, Smith was a finalist for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award.

"I couldn't earn anywhere near to what I'll be getting in WPS if I stayed in this country. But it's not just about money. It's about playing with and against the best players in the world, training every day, and everything else that goes with being a professional footballer."

The Breakers next game is Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in Germantown, MD against the Washington Freedom. Their next home game will take place on May 2 at 7 p.m. against the Los Angeles Sol.

All home games are played at historic Harvard Stadium. Tickets are available online. For groups over 20 please call 1-781-251-2100.

Information for this article was excerpted from the Boston Breakers Web site and Courtesy of USSoccer.com

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