While all eyes were on Thursday's WPS Dispersal Draft, the Boston Breakers snuck two guests in the back door with their signing of International star forward Laura Del Rio and the re-signing of Brazilian forward Fabiana.
The Breakers agreed to terms with Del Rio after her negotiating rights were acquired from the Los Angeles Sol for a third round draft pick in the 2010 WPS Draft. The 27-year-old Spanish forward joins the Breakers after playing for FFC Frankfurt in Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga league, where she has notched six goals this season.
No stranger to the American pitch, Del Rio played for FC Indiana of the W-League for the past two seasons. In 2008, Del Rio was FC Indiana’s top scorer with 15 goals and 13 assists, leading her team to the W-League Central Conference Championship.
In her 2009 campaign, the Spanish striker was first in the league with 18 goals and four assists and was named to the 2009 W-League All-League Team and the 2009 All-Central Conference Team. With Del Rio’s help, FC Indiana went on to win the Midwest Division.
Del Rio began her career with Spanish club Levante, making her debut at the age of 17. She has made 30 appearances for the Spanish Women’s National Team scoring 12 goals.
It had long been rumored that Fabiana would be making her way back north to join the Breakers for her second season. Yesterday's announcement made it all official.
Last season, she arrived in Boston in early May and spent the first few months of the 2009 season rehabbing an ACL injury she suffered while playing for her club team in Brazil. Fabiana made her WPS debut on July 12, 2009 against Sky Blue FC. She recorded 480 minutes of playing time in the Breakers’ last seven matches, starting in each contest.
“Fabiana worked hard last season rehabbing from her ACL injury and earned the chance to play late in the season,” said head coach Tony DiCicco. “Both myself and the entire team are looking for a healthy Fabiana to really give the Breakers an offensive boost. She is one of the young, and up and coming stars of world soccer.”
The 20-year-old Fabiana originally was drafted by the Breakers with the second pick in the second round (ninth overall) in the 2009 WPS International Draft.
Fabiana played on Brazil's 2008 silver medal-winning Olympic team in Beijing. She came on as a substitute in both Brazil’s crucial semifinal and final matches against Germany and the United States, respectively. She scored a pair of goals for Brazil during the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
Prior to joining the Breakers, she played for Corinthians FC in Brazil. She scored six goals for Corinthians during the 2008 season prior to suffering a season-ending injury in the Brazilian Paulista Championship in October 2008. Prior to Corinthians, Fabiana played for Sport Huelva FC in Spain.
With the return of Fabiana, the Breakers have retained 11 players from last season's roster (Fabiana, Christine Latham, Amy LePeilbet, Kristine Lilly, Allison Lipsher, Mary-Frances Monroe, Kasey Moore, Jennifer Nobis, Alex Scott, Kelly Smith, and Maggie Tomecka).
The eleven Breaker veterans are expected to be joined by off-season acquisitions Leslie Osborne and Tiffany Weimer, who both played for the FC Gold Pride last season, as well as, Stephanie Cox and Michelle Enyeart, who were selected in yesterday's dispersal draft.
Nine players from the 2010 college draft including first round selections, Lauren Cheney and Alyssa Naeher, will also be competing for roster spots on the 2010 Breaker squad.
About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Headquartered in San Francisco, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the world’s premier soccer league for women with eight teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world. WPS completed its inaugural season in August 2009 as Sky Blue FC of New Jersey became the first-ever WPS Champions. In 2010, eight teams will each play 24-game schedules from April 10-September 12 including six original WPS teams – Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Saint Louis Athletica, Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) and Washington Freedom – and two expansion teams Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence.
The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for September 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website at www.womensprosoccer.com or follow all the news at www.twitter.com/womensprosoccer .