Boston Breakers / National Women's Soccer League / Portland Thorns FC

MATCH PREVIEW: Boston Breakers at Portland Thorns FC

Boston Breakers at Portland Thorns FC (JELD-WEN Field)
7-6-13
10:30pm E.T./7:30pm E.T.

The Boston Breakers (4-5-4, 16 points) are coming off a 1-1 draw midweek in Seattle.  The Breakers were able to strike less than ten minutes after going down a goal to the Reign when a Heather O’Reilly cross deflected off a Seattle defender before falling to Sydney Leroux for her team-leading eighth goal of the season.

For the Breakers, it is their third match in seven days having hosted Sky Blue FC on June 30 before travelling to Seattle on July 3 and then to Portland for tonight’s contest.

Boston will look for Leroux to continue her scoring streak.  O’Reilly has been dangerous in the midfield all season scoring three times and adding four assists.  Lianne Sanderson will look to connect with both O’Reilly and Leroux and add to her league-high seven assists on the year.

They will be missing forward Kyah Simon who, earlier today, helped the Australian Women’s National team to a 2-0 victory over France.

Jazmyne Avant will have the opportunity to play against her former club, having been acquired by the Breakers prior to last weekend’s match with Sky Blue.  Avant has started and played 90 minutes in both matches since her acquisition.

INJURY REPORT:

Sydney Leroux (left ankle sprain), Katie Schoepfer (groin), and Cat Whitehill (left hamstring strain) are all listed as probable for tonight’s match.

The Portland Thorns (8-3-2, 26 points) are coming off a 2-0 loss in Kansas City on June 30.  The Thorns have been held scoreless for the past two matches – a scoreless draw at Sky Blue FC on June 22 and then last weekend’s 2-0 defeat.

The Thorns boast one of the league’s most dangerous duos in Alex Morgan (6) and Christine Sinclair (4).  Portland added Tiffany Weimer to the mix making their attack even more potent but the three are still gelling.  Weimer provided energy and spark to the attack, registering four shots against Sky Blue FC.

They lost Becky Edwards to an ACL injury on June 13 and have since struggled to find a player or combination of players to replace Edwards as a holding midfielder.  Emilee O’Neil and Courtney Wetzel have both spent some time in centrally, as has Allie Long.

INJURY REPORT:

The Thorns do not have anyone listed officially but Marian Dougherty left the match against FC Kansas City with a knee injury, forcing the Thorns to play the final ten minutes with 10 players.  Her status for the match is unknown but it was reported earlier in the week that she rode the stationary bike during practice but stopped shortly thereafter.

[EDIT:  Dougherty will be unavailable for tonight’s match.  Wetzel is likely to slip back into the left back position]

Last Matchup:

This is the first match between the two clubs that features two of the brightest young stars for Team USA as Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux battle for the first time on the club side.  Both clubs will look to their young stars to propel them towards a victory.

By virtue of Sky Blue FC’s victory earlier this evening, Portland will remain in second place with a win.  A loss leaves them in potential striking distance for FC Kansas City who sit two points behind them in third place.

A win for Boston would bring them within three points of Western New York who are sitting in fourth place going into tomorrow’s match in Kansas City.

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