We're not quite at the point where we're searching for any possible victory, even a moral one. Right now what the Breakers really need is a goal. Not a win, not three points - a single goal, preferably from the run of play, although a set piece or penalty kick might be enough to hold everyone over until they manage to score again.
Their opponent on Sunday is FC Kansas City - last season's league champions, and this season sitting just above Boston at number 9 in the standings. If Boston is going to get a goal, FCKC is as good an option as any at the moment.
FCKC hasn't been putting up big numbers either; they've scored two goals and allowed five in five games, while Boston has allowed seven.
Still, FCKC does have Becky Sauerbrunn guiding their defense, but with Heather O'Reilly on their injury list as probable with a right hamstring strain and Nicole Barnhart also probable with multiple issues, those are two big pieces that won't be 100%. FCKC will also be without centerpiece Jen Buczkowski for the first time this season, following her retirement last weekend.
It'll be up to Kristie Mewis, Stephanie McCaffrey, Louise Schillgard, and Kyah Simon to take advantage of any FCKC weaknesses. New German signing Eunice Beckmann is finally in town, but won't be available for the game.
Look who has arrived in Boston! pic.twitter.com/pMLriDciyH— BostonBreakers (@BostonBreakers) May 20, 2016
Simon needs better service around the goal, and the Breakers have to find ways to let her pretty much stay in the 18 and poach. She should not be dropping deep to help the midfield; Mewis, Salem, Zerboni, and Schillgard need to be finding ways to get crosses and through balls to her to maximize her shots, part of which will mean getting around FCKC's Desiree Scott. Scott is pretty ferocious, and battles between her and McCall Zerboni could get plenty physical.
Meanwhile, the Boston defense will need to handle FCKC;s Shea Groom and Maddy Laddish. They're certainly capable of doing so; they've held better offenses to one goal against.
Just one goal. You get the feeling that just one goal to break through whatever weird bad juju has surrounded the offense will open the floodgates.
Maybe not floodgates, but at the very least it'll help the team get over an increasingly disheartening mental roadblock.
The Breakers kick off against FC Kansas City on Sunday, May 22 at 6:30 PM at Jordan Field. The game will stream live on NWSL's youtube channel.