You know that scene in Jurassic Park where Dr. Alan Grant has just climbed down the huge tree in the T-Rex paddock with one of the kids, Tim? And they just barely manage to get to the ground before the car smashes down over them, miraculously leaving them alive inside? And then Tim, out of breath, says "Well. We're back...in the car again."
That's how it must feel to be a Breakers fan this season. "Well. We're back...at the bottom of the table again."
But the team is only three games in. Is it possible they could start turning their season around against Chicago? After last weekend's game against Portland, head coach Matt Beard said once the team could get that first win, they'd go on a roll. And the team has shown improvement over the last three games, with the defense settling in and their offense slowly ramping up.
Consider their shots and SOG:
They're slowly but steadily calibrating to be more on target, and hopefully that will culminate in an actual goal against Chicago. Unfortunately, newest signing Eunice Beckmann probably won't be in Boston in time to help join the attack for this game, but she is another positive move in the right direction for a team that is desperately trying to reverse two seasons' worth of bad juju. In the meantime, get Louise Schillgard more involved, get more service to Kyah Simon, and at the very least that will create more pressure for Chicago to deal with.
On the other hand, Chicago is also getting calibrated. They're just coming off two narrow 1-0 wins against the Western New York Flash and the Orlando Pride, but they have two things Boston especially needs to watch out for: Christen Press and Alyssa Naeher.
Press is Chicago's biggest attacking threat and currently leads the league in SOG (8 SOG out of 10 shots total, which is, you know, pretty okay). She'll control a ball in the box and score faster than you can say hot pork sandwich.
As for Naeher, Boston fans need no introduction to her, and the Breakers offense will need to put some strong shots on frame in order to get anything past her.
If Boston can neutralize Press while not opening up gaps for other players like Jen Hoy or Sofia Huerta to get in there, AND they can get on target a few more times whether through open play or by finding usual target Julie King on set plays, then they might come out of this with a result.
The Breakers kick off against Chicago at home on Saturday, May 7 at 7 PM ET. The game will livestream on NWSL's youtube channel.