Joe Cummings named President of returning women’s professional soccer team
Boston (April 18, 2007) – Women’s professional soccer will return to the Boston sports landscape in 2008. The Boston Breakers, who played from 2000-2003 as part of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), were today named the eighth team in the new women’s professional soccer league. The announcement was made by team representatives and former Boston Breakers players Kristine Lilly and Angela Hucles at the Cask ‘n Flagon restaurant in Boston.
Additionally, Joe Cummings was named President of the organization. Cummings previously served as President and General Manager of the Breakers from May 2000 through the final year of play in 2003. During that time, the Breakers received the Team Community Service Award, Fair Play Award, Coach of the Year Award for Pia Sundhage, MVP Award for Maren Meinert, and Cummings was twice selected Executive of the Year, the only league administrator to receive the distinguished award. A seasoned veteran in the sports industry, Cummings brings thirty years of soccer experience to the post, including leadership roles with the 1999 Women’s World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics and Major League Soccer.
“We are thrilled to have Joe joining us as the President of the Boston Breakers organization,” said Michael Stoller, Managing Partner of the Boston franchise. “Joe’s experience is unparalleled in the soccer world in this country and he has tirelessly worked to revive the women’s professional soccer league for the last three years. We are confident that Joe shares with us the vision of running a first class team, stands for all the best values in sports today, and will bring success to our team and the league as a whole.”
The Breakers join seven other teams in the new league founded by the Women’s Soccer Initiative, Inc (WSII). Franchises have also been announced in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Dallas, Chicago, and one other to-be-named territory. The addition of a NY/NJ franchise was also announced today. Play is slated to begin in April of 2008.
Founded in November 2005, as a result of the suspension of the Women’s United Soccer Association, the goal of the WSII has been to build a new business plan to relaunch women’s professional soccer in the United States. The group is led by Tonya Antonucci, CEO and Founder. Antonucci brings over a decade of sports business experience to the group, having spent over seven years with Yahoo, Inc., where she served as the director of Yahoo! Sports and subsequently as General Manager of Yahoo’s partnership with FIFA and the commercialization of the global websites for the FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cups.
“Boston is a vibrant sports, media and cultural center, and it’s great to have the market back online for the fans,” said Antonucci. “We now have a strong East Coast presence and an important base for fan development as we pursue sponsorship and partnership opportunities.”
While a venue has not yet been finalized, the Breakers expect to play in the Greater Boston area. Announcements regarding venue, employment opportunities, ticket packages and player selection will be made in the coming months.
“I am excited by the opportunity to bring the Boston Breakers and their outstanding players back to the fans of New England. We look forward to a successful relaunch in 2008,” said Cummings.
Veteran players Kristine Lilly and Angela Hucles played for the Boston Breakers previously and are current members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, which is preparing for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in China. Both were on hand for today’s announcement and expressed their excitement to bring professional soccer back to Boston.
“We’ve been working very hard over the past few years to bring women’s professional soccer back,” said Lilly, who served as the Breakers Team Captain from 2000-2003. “I’ve devoted my entire career to soccer and accomplished much, but the establishment of a lasting and successful women’s professional league would be the pinnacle.”
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring the Breakers back,” added Angela Hucles. “From the investors to the players, everyone is steadfastly committed to the success of this league. We had terrific fan support in Boston the first time around, so we’re confident that those fans, and new ones, will come back to support the initiative.”
For more information on the Boston Breakers, visit www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com or call 1-877-HEY-BREAKERS. The team’s headquarters are located at 400 Blue Hill Drive, Suite 104, Westwood, MA 02090.