So no one told you the season's gonna be this way. Your team can't score, what's more, your GK's out the door. It's like you're always stuck in tenth place when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even playoff race.
Four games, no goals, no points. For the fifth game in a row now, Boston fans heave themselves up to the bar and say "Maybe this is the one."
The players are clearly ready for more. The coach is trying to make positive moves forward. Boston has put together good but inconsistent performances against every team they've faced. You can point out quite good 20 to 25 minute stretches. But the finishing is not there.
So now Boston faces Sky Blue FC away. Sky Blue is on a 1-2-1 record, eighth on the table, but at least they've managed to score. They have four goals for and five goals against while Boston is sitting at a league-leading six goals against.
Sky Blue has put together slightly surprising but solid performances, managing narrow losses to the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash and actually beating the Seattle Reign in that head-scratcher of a Seattle home opener in NWSL's first weekend. They held a Carli Lloyd-less Houston Dash to 0-0 in a tough game despite getting outshot over three to one.
So what does Boston need to look out for? Kelley O'Hara, for one. When she gets involved with the attack coming from her fullback position, she's basically another forward for Sky Blue. Maya Hayes, for another. She'll be looking to run onto balls and beat that back line. And last but certainly not least, Raquel Rodriguez, who will be pressuring the defensive mids and back line all game long if she's given the space to do so.
On the flipside, Boston can do everything but score. The defense can absorb and push forward out of their third, the midfield can connect with each other while interchanging with the forwards, and the forwards can get around the box and put the ball in dangerous positions.
But everybody needs to shoot more, and there have to be more players on the ends of those dangerous balls in the box. Whether this means Stephanie McCaffrey switching on or the Breakers actually using a set play to their advantage or Kristie Mewis or Louise Schillgard maybe being willing to try it at long range a little more, there has to be more payoff for the buildup.
One unknown factor: whether Boston's latest signing, German international Eunice Beckmann, will be available for this game. If her paperwork clears in time, then Beard might want to throw her in the deep end right away and see if she can become that missing chess piece that makes the offense click.
The Breakers face Sky Blue at 7 PM ET on Friday, May 13 at Yurcak Field. The game will stream live on NWSL's youtube channel.