Short takes

• The Boston Breakers folded this week, the second National Women’s Soccer League club to do so this offseason. The move leaves the league with just nine teams for next season, which should make for confusing scheduling on a week-to-week basis. It’s a bad look for the NWSL and for women’s soccer in general.

• In one of the more confusing moves in women’s soccer history, England hired former standout player Phil Neville to coach its national women’s team. This despite Neville having never been a manager in women’s or men’s soccer. Nor did he apply for the job. For fans of the USA women’s national team, this is probably good news. Sometimes, it seems the USA can stay ahead of its rivals not by making great innovations, but simply by actually paying attention to its national team.

• While the Major League Soccer transfer market is dwarfed by the worldwide market, it was still notable to see Atlanta smashing the American record by paying Argentine club Independiente $15 million for attacking midfielder Ezequiel Barco, 18. He was coveted by bigger clubs than Atlanta. Both player and club are hoping he develops and ends up moving on to a top league.