After going dark in 2018, women’s professional soccer is officially returning to Boston in the NWSL for the 2026 season.

On Tuesday, the National Women’s Soccer League announced it has officially awarded an expansion team to the Boston Unity Soccer Partners ownership group. The new team’s ownership has an all-female core. Members of the ownership are also involved with the Boston Celtics and Red Sox organizations. This includes lead investor Jennifer Epstein, a minority owner of the Celtics.

Boston will be the NWSL’s 15th team, and will follow the additions of Utah Royals FC and Bay FC in the 2024 season. Like Utah, Boston is a return to a market that previous hosted an NWSL team.

Following in the footsteps of the Breakers

Undetermined, however, is if like Utah Boston the new club will revive the name of its predecessor club, the Breakers. The original Boston Breakers played in all three seasons of the WUSA league from 2001-2003. When WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer) emerged in 2009, the Breakers returned. However, that league also floundered after three years. So in 2012, the Breakers played in the WPSL Elite league, a semi-pro circuit that hosted other WPS refugees as well.

In 2013 Boston moved again, to the newly formed NWSL, as one of the founding clubs. They would last through the 2017 season, but unable to find new buyers for the club, were forced to fold. Standout players like Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Alyssa Naeher, Heather O’Reilly, and Sydney Leroux are among those who played for the Breakers in NWSL.

The new team plans to extensively renovate the historic George R. White Stadium in the Franklin Park neighborhood of Boston. Having a modernized, purpose-refit venue will give this club a leg up that their predecessors didn’t enjoy. And the location right in the heart of Boston is something that their men’s counterparts, MLS’s Revolution, still struggle without.

The branding for the club will be unveiled at a date closer to the team’s kickoff in 2026.