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Breakers vs. FC Kansas City 2014: NWSL Match Preview

Following a heartbreaking injury-time defeat to Western New York, the Breakers will look to rebound once again. To do so, they will need to quiet FC Kansas City's high-flying attack.

FCKC midfielder Lauren Holiday has consistently pestered back lines in 2014
FCKC midfielder Lauren Holiday has consistently pestered back lines in 2014
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Breakers at FC Kansas City
8/6/2014, 8:00 PM
Verizon Wireless Field at Durwood Stadium

Current Form:

On Sunday, a devastating defeat only accentuated the Breakers' disappointing campaign, when the club suffered a 4-3 loss to Western New York. Kristie Mewis erupted for a pair of goals during an inspired performance, though a sloppy defensive outing doomed the reeling club in injury time. Now with just four matches remaining on the 2014 calendar, the Breakers will look to harness any signs of positivity against the Blues.

Last Five: L-L-L-W-L

After surrendering just two goals en route to an undefeated June, FC Kansas City turned in an inconsistent July, surrendering 11 goals in five matches. Vlatko Andonovski's club still find themselves in second place, however, with two matches left to prove their true form. Amy Rodriguez & Co. will look to shut down the Breakers and further the gap between themselves (38 points) and the third-placed Spirit (34 points).

Last Five: L-D-W-L-D

What to Watch For:

Playing for pride--and for 2015--the Breakers will look for growth on the defensive side of the ball. They've proven they can score at will (ten goals in their previous three matches), though they've surrendered four goals per match in their previous three. Without question, the back line needs an off-season overhaul. Who will stay, and who will go?

The next four matches will prove critically important for Bianca Sierra, Bianca D'Agostino and even Julie King, who has fallen out of Tom Durkin's Starting XI. Based on playing time, Sierra's job appears relatively stable, though she has yet to turn in consecutive strong performances. All three players could hit the trading block in the off season.

On Wednesday and throughout the Breakers final four matches, look for Durkin to run with a mismatched back four (mirroring much of the 2014 season), working to take the pulse of his defensive unit. When all is said and done, Durkin's roster must undergo significant change; only a handful of defenders will likely return in 2015.

For FC Kansas City, Wednesday's match will serve as a must-win if the club wants to guarantee home-field advantage in the 2014 NWSL Semifinals. To do so, the Blues will need to spring Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday, arguably the most talented attacking duo in women's soccer. The pair has combined for three goals in the team's past three matches, though FCKC has only scored four goals over that span. If Rodriguez and Holiday don't find the net, who will score for the Blues?

In 2014, opposing clubs have kept matches closes by quieting half of Andonovski's pair; FCKC has not consistently found a way to win without strong matches from Rodriguez and Holiday. The Breakers porous back line seems ill-suited to stop them, though FCKC must field a deep, multi-dimensional attack to hang with the league's elite.