Boston Breakers Sign FIFA World Player of the Year Finalist Kelly Smith
Posted by iamhannah on February 18, 2009
Westwood, Mass. (February 18, 2009) – The Boston Breakers announced the signing of England National Team forward Kelly Smith to a multi-year contract this afternoon. Terms of the deals were not disclosed per team policy.
“We are delighted to have signed such a world-class, creative attacking talent such as Kelly Smith,” said Breakers President and General Manager Joe Cummings. “Kelly has been playing at the top level for a long time, and I feel she will have a tremendous impact, not only on our team, but also the league.”
Widely considered one of the top players in the world, Smith was the Breakers’ first-round selection (second overall) during the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) International Draft on Sept. 24. The English international has 76 caps (appearances) and 33 goals over the course of her 14-year career with the national team.
Smith had yet another terrific year in 2008. She was a finalist for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award, the second time in her career she has finished in the top five (2006). She was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) this past summer in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to football.
In 2007, Smith helped lead her club team, Arsenal Ladies, to the “quadruple” by winning the English Women’s Premier League, FA and League Cup, as well as the UEFA Women’s Cup (Europe’s top club competition). Later that summer, Smith was named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Tournament Team after scoring four goals in four matches en route to guiding England to the quarterfinals.
Smith was the only English player in the former women’s pro league in America when she was a member of the Philadelphia Charge (WUSA) from 2001-03, and a teammate of current Boston Breaker Heather Mitts. She played collegiately in the U.S. for Seton Hall from 1997-99, and was the NCAA’s leading scorer for two straight years.
Since returning home to play for Arsenal after eight years in the United States in 2005, Smith has tallied 100 goals in 112 appearances for the London club. Smith began her career with Arsenal during the 1995-96 season, and has played for the English National Team since she was 16 years old.