By MC Barrett
The Boston Breakers will play their final home game of the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season when they host first-place FC Kansas City on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m. ET at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.
Despite a thrilling, 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Portland Thorns FC Wednesday night, Saturday’s game no longer has postseason implications as the Breakers have now been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Breakers (7-7-6, 27 points) entered Wednesday’s match in sixth place, needing a win over the Thorns and a loss by the Western New York Flash to remain in playoff hunt. In front of a sellout crowd of 3,012, the Breakers treated their hometown fans to an exciting 2-1 win. Lianne Sanderson and Heather O’Reilly each scored their fifth goals of the season, leading the Breakers to victory and erasing an early second-half deficit. Sydney Leroux and Cat Whitehill also tallied one assist each in the win, which quickly became bittersweet with the news that the Flash had defeated Seattle Reign FC, 1-0, thus ending the Breakers’ playoff hopes. But that certainly doesn’t mean the Breakers’ season is over. They’re going after six points in their final two games.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that now we’re out of [the playoffs],” said Whitehill after picking up her first win as interim head coach. “Now we’re just going to go for undefeated the rest of the season. We will come out really hard. We still have something to prove. We’re playing really good soccer right now, and I’m really proud of us.”
The Breakers will have a chance to play the role of spoiler with first-place FC Kansas City (11-4-5, 38 points) coming to town. The Blues punched their ticket for the playoffs in their last outing, a 3-2 win over Portland on Aug. 4. NWSL leading scorer Lauren Holiday (12 goals) tallied two goals for FC Kansas City, while Hanson, Mass. native and former Boston College star Kristie Mewis netted the game-winner, scoring her first professional goal. Playoff hosting rights are now the goal for FC Kansas City, which would secure the number one seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win over Boston on Saturday night.
The Breakers have an opportunity to not just thwart the Blues’ hosting hopes, but to exact revenge for the teams’ two meetings earlier this season, both of which were won by FC Kansas City. Boston opened up the series against FC Kansas City at Shawnee Mission District Stadium Saturday, May 18. Led by a goal and an assist from Holiday, FC Kansas City won the first meeting, 2-0. The Breakers returned to Kansas July 24, yet the Blues came out victorious, posting a 3-0 win. Canadian Women’s National Team defender Carmelina Moscato made her Breakers debut in the loss, having been acquired in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars on June 30.
Saturday’s match is the third and final meeting between Boston and FC Kansas City and features two of the league’s most explosive offenses. Holiday leads the NWSL in scoring with 12 goals, trailed closely by Boston’s Leroux, who has 10 tallies on the season. Holiday also leads the league with nine assists on the year, followed closely by both Sanderson (7 assists) and O’Reilly (6 assists). Collectively, the Breakers and Blues are tied for second in the league in scoring, each team having scored 33 goals on the season.
Following Saturday’s match, the Breakers will play their final game of the 2013 NWSL season on Saturday, Aug. 17 against the Western New York Flash at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET and the match will broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer.
Follow all the action from Saturday’s home finale live by visiting http://www.bostonbreakerssoccer.com/SCHEDULE/livestreams/744646.html .
Boston Breakers season tickets are now available for the 2014 NWSL season. Visit www.breakerstickets.com or call 617-945-1704 to catch all of next season’s action, available now until December 1, 2013 at a special discounted price.