Heather O’Reilly’s has been quite busy since starting her professional career with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2002. A WPS championship, two gold medals, a FIFA nomination for goal of the year (only the second female ever to do so), and set a record for consecutive games played at 62. All that before is 30.
The 28 year old outside midfielder, often referred to as HAO by fans and teammates, is returning to the Boston Breakers for the inaugural NWSL season.
O’Reilly signed with the Breakers (WPSL Elite) in early 2012 was only able to play in a few matches.
“My experience with the Breakers, although brief, was very enjoyable. I only played a few games but I definitely got a sense of what this organization is about,” O’Reilly said.
Prior to playing in Boston, O’Reilly was a co-captain of Sky Blue FC where she helped the team win the 2009 WPS Championship against the Los Angeles Sol. She also continued playing with Sky Blue in their 2010 and 2011 while still traveling with the national team.
“Playing with Sky Blue FC was such a thrill. It was close to my hometown. I owe New Jersey a ton of credit for my career. It will be hard to play Sky Blue this season,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly has had a key part in growing the U.S. Women’s National Team’s popularity over the last two years, helping to give women’s soccer a place in America.
“It’s amazing to be a part of this growth and another step for U.S. Soccer to advance the game in our country. I think in the last two years, with the 2011 World cup and the (2012) Olympics, we are proud of the stronghold we’ve had in terms of the attention (soccer has received),” O’Reilly said
The new NWSL is the next step in solidifying women’s soccer in the U.S. and O’Reilly is optimistic about the future of the league.
“It’s a step in the right direction. I think it’ll be a really high level this year. I think every team will be even more deep and more talented,” O’Reilly said.
Joining O’Reilly in Boston will be Canadian National Team players Adriana Leon and Rhian Wilkinson as well as Anisa Guajardo and Cecilia Santiago of the Mexican National Team.
Fans of the USWNT will also notice O’Reilly’s national teammates Sydney Leroux and Heather Mitts joining her on the Breakers.
“Syd, although coming off the bench (for the U.S.), she pumped in 12 goals. That was all off the bench! I’m really proud of Syd as a player. Heather Mitts is somebody who is just the perfect teammate. She’s always going to be fit. She’s always going to be ready to go,” O’Reilly said.
Without a doubt we can expect an interesting first season from the Boston Breakers and Heather O’Reilly.