Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers
Dilboy Stadium, Somerville, MA
After going unbeaten in their first four matches, the Breakers have gradually found themselves sliding down the table, earning a full three points just once in their last five outings. Last Sunday, the Breakers traveled to Chicago to visit the Red Stars, surrendering a 25th minute game-winner to Lori Chalupny. Now standing in fifth place (3-3-3, 12 Pts.), the Breakers will look to extend out their home-unbeaten streak against a top-ranked Sky Blue FC side.
Last Five: L-W-L-T-L
Until Saturday's home loss against Abby Wambach's Western New York Flash, Sky Blue FC had lost just one of its first nine matches. They will enter Sunday's matchup atop the table (7-2-1, 22 Pts.), though Western New York's dominance on Saturday left much to be desired. A win on Sunday guarantees Sky Blue FC another consecutive week top of the NWSL standings, holding off the pesky Portland Thorns FC.
Last Five: W-W-W-W-L
What to Watch for:
Without question, the storyline this weekend will revolve around the absence of key international-bound players for both sides. The Breakers parted ways with Sydney Leroux and Heath O'Reilly as well as Rhian Wilkinson and Adriana Leon, each of whom joined their international clubs this week. Sky Blue FC also lost four players to international duty, sending Jill Loyden, Christie Rampone and Kelley O'Hara to Team USA while leaving Sophie Schmidt to Team Canada.
For Sky Blue FC, expect fewer chances for standout forward Lisa De Vanna, who is often featured up top with Kelley O'Hara and Danehsa Adams. Without O'Hara - De Vanna's creative attacking mate - and midfield supporter Sophie Schmidt, chances may not come as steadily as they have in recent weeks.
The Breakers, though also missing key pieces, may use this opportunity to steal a result. Thanks to depth in the midfield and the presence of strong attackers Kyah Simon and Katie Schoepfer, the Breakers should find unfamiliar room behind Sky Blue FC's back line, which will need a replacement for captain Christie Rampone.
Sunday presents an ideal opportunity for the Breakers to get back on track - by taking advantage of a heavily depleted Sky Blue FC roster. If Simon and Schoepfer contribute, look for the Breakers to steal three points at home.
For tickets to Sunday's match at Dilboy Stadium, visit BreakersTickets.com