(May 27, 2014) – In the fourth of five consecutive home games, the Boston Breakers (1-6-0) take on current National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) holders the Portland Thorns at Harvard Stadium this Wednesday (kickoff 7.30pm ET). Boston is looking to taste victory for only the second time this season and to move away from the foot of the NWSL table in the process.
In Paul Riley’s Thorns team they face a side aiming to make amends for a 1-0 defeat at home to Sky Blue FC on Saturday. Kelley O’Hara’s 84th-minute header secured the win for Sky Blue in front of 13,427 at Providence Park and left Portland with a record of 4-2-2 this season. The Thorns managed 18 shots in that game without success but in Jess McDonald they have one of the most in-form forwards in the league, with five goals. Midfielder Allie Long, who won her first U.S. Women’s National Team cap against Canada this month, has also been amongst the goals, with four so far.
McDonald and Long have actually scored the entirety of Portland’s nine goals this season but their roster includes Canada captain Christine Sinclair. Sinclair has yet to find the target in eight games but has taken 31 shots this season and had a header cleared off the line as well as a volley saved by Jill Loyden in the match with Sky Blue. Midfielder Angie Kerr leads the Thorns for assists with two while Long, McDonald and Meleana Shim have contributed one each.
In goal, Portland has FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Nadine Angerer and the Germany captain will be called upon for the Thorns’ third game in eight days. Angerer has made 32 saves this season with two shutouts, and she also saved a penalty from Houston Dash’s Kaylyn Kyle in Portland’s recent 1-0 away win.
For the second successive home game, the Breakers had their biggest crowd of the season in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to FC Kansas City as 2,622 came out to Harvard Stadium. The result meant a fourth defeat in a row although Head Coach Tom Durkin has reason to be encouraged with the team’s performance.
Boston nearly had a 9th-minute lead after Nikki Washington, playing at right-back, sent a dangerous cross in that ended up being diverted onto the post. Defender Julie King had a goal disallowed on 28 minutes as her header was ruled out after the ball was deemed to have run out of play before the cross came in. Joint-leading scorers (with two each) Lianne Sanderson and Heather O’Reilly were involved in much of the Breakers’ attacking work, as was forward Katie Schoepfer.
Striker Lisa De Vanna is to join back up with the squad after helping Australia to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup final in which they lost narrowly to Japan. De Vanna will however serve a one-game ban for her red card against Sky Blue on May 3rd.
You can keep track of the action from this Wednesday’s game with the Portland Thorns live on YouTube (from 7.30pm). Tickets can also be purchased for the following home match with the Washington Spirit (Sunday, June 1st, kickoff at 6.30pm) from www.breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.
- By Chris Brookes
If you're not able to catch the match in person, visit the link below for live coverage
Boston Breakers vs. Portland Thorns FC - 7:30 PM ET