Breakers won’t return in 2020

Don’t expect an NWSL club back in Boston in 2020.

The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Thursday, Dec. 19 that the league will remain at nine teams for the 2020 season, but that it “continues to engage in substantive discussions with several potential expansion groups with the possibility of announcing additional teams for the 2021 season in early 2020.”

Boston has been without a top-flight women’s soccer team since January 2018, when the Boston Breakers announced they would fold and put operations on hold. The 2020 season will mark three years without women’s soccer in Greater Boston.

Even with the popularity of women’s soccer in the United States thanks to the US women’s national team winning its fourth World Cup and its second consecutive trophy, the country’s top league has been slow to grow. While Utah Royals FC are considered an expansion team following the demise of FC Kansas City — FCKC’s player-related assets were transferred to the Salt Lake City outfit — the NWSL has not had expansion since the 2016 season, when the Orlando Pride entered the league. In 2017, the Western New York Flash moved to North Carolina.

Before the 2018 season, NWSL had 10 teams prior to the Breakers’ shuttering their doors.

Louisville is expected to enter the league in 2021. The league announced Louisville as the league’s 10th team in October 2019.

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