WPS: Boston's Kelly Smith Named April Player of the Month

Todd Civin@https://twitter.com/toddcivin1Senior Writer IMay 1, 2009

Westwood, Mass. (May 1, 2009)–Boston Breakers forward Kelly Smith was named the WPS Player of the Month, announced today by Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) for the month of April.

Smith becomes the league’s first-ever monthly award recipient. She scored goals in all three of the games she played during the month of April, leading the Breakers to a 2-1-0 record in those matches.

The English National Team forward was an automatic nominee for the award after claiming the WPS Player of the Week award on April 12 for Week Three. Smith beat out two of her opponents for the next two weekends, Los Angeles Sol forward Marta and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, who finished second and third, respectively, for the monthly honor.

The award was selected by team ballots, media vote and online fan voting with each group accounting for one-third of the final tally. Nearly 1,000 fans voted at the league’s Fan Corner at http://fancorner.womensprosoccer.com to help select the winner.

Smith started the month by notching a late equalizer in the Breakers’ season opening 2-1 loss at FC Gold Pride on April 5. After the hosts came back to regain the lead in the 90th minute, Smith nearly tied it again with a 22-yard effort that hit the crossbar in stoppage time.

In Boston’s home opener a week later, Smith was involved in both goals in the Breakers’ 2-0 win over Saint Louis Athletica. Smith scored the first goal and then provided the decisive pass on Kristine’s Lilly’s late goal to put the game out of reach. That particular performance led her to being named the WPS Player of the Week.

On April 18, Smith scored the league’s first-ever penalty kick to open the scoring in Boston’s first road victory, a 3-1 triumph over former WUSA rivals the Washington Freedom.

The England international is tied for the league lead in goals scored with Los Angeles’ Marta. Smith has finished as a finalist to Marta, the three-time reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, in two of the past three years.

The WPS Player of the Month award is voted on at the end of each month by media, fans and teams. Nominees come from each of the WPS Player of the Week award winners during the month, and write-in votes are accepted. The weekly award is voted on by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). 

Smith and the Breakers are set to take on the Los Angeles Sol in a home-and-home sequence, starting tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Harvard Stadium. The teams will play again next Sunday, May 10, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The third and final meeting between the two clubs takes place in Boston on Aug. 9, the final day of the regular season.

The Boston Breakers are one of seven Women’s Professional Soccer franchises and opened play in April, 2009. The team plays its home games at Harvard Stadium and single-game tickets for all games, as well as group and season tickets are now on sale by calling (781) 251-2100. For online orders, package details and a seating chart, visit www.bostonbreakers.com.

About Women's Professional Soccer (WPS)

The mission of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women's soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women's professional sports are measured. The Inaugural Season kicked off on March 29 and runs through August 22, 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league's eighth franchise, Philadelphia, will begin play next season with Atlanta expected to join as the ninth team in 2010, as well. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.