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Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC 2014: Match Preview

A sluggish start to the 2014 season has Breakers nation worried, though Heather O'Reilly and Co. will have the opportunity to re-route the ship on Sunday when the team hosts Sky Blue F.C.

Sky Blue defender Christie Rampone shined in her NWSL debut on Sunday
Sky Blue defender Christie Rampone shined in her NWSL debut on Sunday
USA TODAY Sports

Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers
4/27/14, 6:30 PM
Harvard Stadium, Allston, MA

Current Form:

After opening the 2014 season with a pair of disappointing losses, the Breakers will host rival Sky Blue F.C. in dire need of a win. To accomplish their goal, the team must stand tall in front of goalkeeper Amanda Naeher, who has excelled in 2104--while conceding six goals in two matches. Continued offensive build-up behind Lisa De Vanna bodes well for a repeat performance up top; the team just needs to buckle down defensively.

Last Two: L-L

After playing to 1-1 draws with Kansas City and Portland, Sky Blue will enter Sunday's match with a victory in sight. Last weekend, the team developed a late 1-0 lead against the defending champs, only to concede a 75th minute equalizer from the spot. Christie Rampone, who collected her first goal with the club, will look to build on a strong NWSL debut.

Last Two: T-T

What to Watch for:

After disappearing in week one, the Breakers attack showed well in week two, scoring a pair of goals on the cusp of strong build-up play. The defense, however, has yet to locate its 2013 form, suffering from poor marking and ill-advised decision making. All eyes will focus on Boston's back four, including center back Courtney Jones. The natural attacker has struggled her in new position, as we mentioned earlier this week, and played a role in all three Houston goals on Sunday. Jones--and her fellow defenders--must tighten up their play on Sunday, or the club will spiral into a 0-3 hole.

For Sky Blue F.C., a two-point 2014 season tells only a fraction of the greater story. Last week, the team nearly netted a game-winner against Portland; two weeks ago, in Kansas City, the Blues turned in a complete offensive performance, only to walk away with a single tally. Sophie Schmidt, Kelley O'Hara and Katy Freels have scattered 10 shots across the first two matches, resulting in just one goal. If the trio finds their finishing touch, look out--Sky Blue may quickly move up the ranks of elite NWSL clubs.

On Sunday, look for Boston's back line to turn in an improved performance, finally finding they rhythm they so desperately need. Unfortunately, even a complete turnaround may not be enough to slow Sky Blue's up-and-coming attack.

To buy tickets to Sunday's rivalry match, visit BreakersTickets.com.