Breakers face Chicago Saturday, aiming for first win of 2016

(May 6, 2016)- The Boston Breakers are hoping to build off the tough defensive stand they put up against league-title contenders Portland Thorns FC last week as they take on the Chicago Red Stars Saturday at Jordan Field (7 p.m. ET kickoff) in Allston, Mass.

By Anna Padilla

(May 6, 2016)- The Boston Breakers are hoping to build off the tough defensive stand they put up against league-title contenders Portland Thorns FC last week as they take on the Chicago Red Stars Saturday at Jordan Field (7 p.m. ET kickoff) in Allston, Mass.

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While the Breakers are still seeking their first win in 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season, the team is going into Saturday confident after a big showing last Sunday. In a defensive battle with the Thorns, a 1-0 loss, first-time starting keeper Abby Smith came up big with four saves, two that came against quality opportunities from Tobin Heath and Meghan Klingenberg.

Abby Smith made her professional debut Sunday vs. Portland (Photo by Mike Gridley)

The Breakers (0-3-0) were able to make opportunities of their own and keep a clean sheet until a 79th-minute header by Dagny Brynjarsdottir gave the Thorns the win. With a confident defense, the Breakers now look forward to Saturday against Chicago in hopes of making those offensive opportunities count. 

“As a group, we are really looking forward to this game. It's going to be another great test, but with each game and each week I can see an improvement in our performance and understanding,” said Matt Beard, head coach of the Boston Breakers. “All we need is a bit of luck in front of goal, but once we get one I'm confident we'll get a few.”

In a game that will mark the return of former Breakers keeper Alyssa Naeher, now playing for Chicago, a bit of luck in front of the net might be all that Boston needs to pull out a win. This is the 18th overall meeting between the Breakers and the Red Stars, and 12 of the 17 previous games played between the two teams have been decided by two goals or less.

Chicago (2-1-0) is looking for its third straight win of the season. After losing to the Houston Dash, 3-1, in the season opener, the Red Stars have come away with wins against Orlando and Western New York on the back of Christen Press. Press has scored two goals in three games. Each of Chicago’s wins this season have come as 1-0 victories.

While the Breakers’ last win against Chicago was in 2013, a 4-1 victory, Boston has had particular success against Chicago at home with three of the five Breakers’ victories coming on their home turf.

The Breakers will travel to New Jersey next weekend and will take on Sky Blue FC on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m. ET. They return home on Sunday, May 22, to face two-time defending NWSL champions FC Kansas City at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased by calling 617-945-1704 or by visiting www.breakerstickets.com.

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