The Breakers and Red Stars are set to renew their rivalry, one that dates back to 2009, the year the teams first met in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS). Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. ET start at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.
The Breakers look to keep their unbeaten streak intact after starting with a 1-0-1 record, while Chicago is in search of its first win of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season. Saturday’s game marks the return of former Breakers captain Leslie Osborne and former Breakers defender Taryn Hemmings, who now play for Chicago. And as Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole pointed out, Chicago is an opponent not to be overlooked despite its record.
"I think Chicago is a good team, and they always match up well against the Breakers," Cole said. "It’s not going to be easy taking points away from Chicago. And they have extra motivation with Leslie and Taryn coming back to play in Boston."
The Breakers are coming off a 2-1, come-from-behind win over the Western New York Flash Saturday on the road. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly scored the game-tying and game-winning goals, earning NWSL Player of the Week honors. O’Reilly currently is tied for the league lead in goals (2) and leads the league in shots on goal (7). Lianne Sanderson and Sydney Leroux assisted on O’Reilly’s goals.
Lianne Sanderson assisted on Heather O’Reilly’s game-winning goal Saturday (Photo by Gary S. Howell)
Boston’s 18-year-old keeper Cecilia Santiago from Mexico made some history in Saturday’s win over the Flash. She became the youngest keeper to win a game in a U.S. professional women’s soccer league (WUSA, WPS, NWSL). Santiago, at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, became the youngest keeper to ever start a World Cup game at just 16 years old.
Cecilia Santiago made history Saturday night against the Flash (Photo by Mike Gridley)
The Red Stars come into the match in seventh place in the NWSL table with a 0-1-1 record, while the Breakers sit in fourth place. The Red Stars have been on the unlucky end when it comes to scoring, netting just one goal this season. It came from midfielder Lori Chalupny, a goal that saw the Red Stars come back to tie Seattle, 1-1. In their last match, the Red Stars fell, 2-0, to first-place Portland. The Red Stars boast the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NWSL College Draft, former UCLA star Zakiya Bywaters, a significant threat in the midfield. Up top, the Red Stars are dangerous with Ella Masar, Mexico international Maribel Dominguez, and Jessica McDonald, who had a very productive preseason for Chicago. They’re also extremely talented on defense with Canadian international Carmelina Moscato and Canadian keeper Erin McLeod, both who helped lead Canada to the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Saturday’s game against Chicago is Boston’s first home game since the Boston Marathon tragedy. Prior to, during, and after Saturday’s game, the team will sell blue & yellow "Boston Strong-Breakers Pride" wristbands.