Preview: Breakers vs. Reign FC
By NWSL news
(June 18, 2014) – Kim Little and first-place Seattle Reign FC take on the bottom-of-the-table Boston Breakers on Thursday with the opportunity to extend their NWSL-record unbeaten streak to 12 games.
The Reign established the new mark in Week 10 with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars as they marched to their 11th straight game without a loss.
Little scored twice from the penalty spot as Seattle overturned a 1-0 second-half deficit against the Red Stars with three unanswered goals.
The two goals were the 10th and 11th of the season for midfielder and Scotland international, who now stands one goal shy of the single-season record of 12 goals set by FC Kansas City midfielder and U.S. international Lauren Holiday.
The Reign will be looking for Little to continue the torrid start to her NWSL career on Thursday as the team will be without defender Stephanie Cox, goalkeeper Hope Solo and forward Sydney Leroux – who will all be away on international duty with the U.S. Women’s National Team this week.
The Reign come into Thursday’s game with a five-point lead at the top of the table – in addition to boasting the best offense and defense in the league.
It’s a far cry from this time last season when Seattle were mired in last place with just one point through the first 10 matches – having lost nine consecutive games from April 21 – June 16.
The Reign’s drastically improved circumstances could serve as motivation for the Breakers, who find themselves at the bottom of the table – two points adrift of Sky Blue FC having played two fewer games.
In fact, coach Tom Durkin’s side has enjoyed an improved run during the past several weeks. Following a 1-7-0 start to the season, Boston is 2-2 in their last four games and has outscored opponents 8-6 during that stretch.
In addition, the Breakers recorded their first shutout of the season in 2-0 home victory over the Washington Spirit in Week 10.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made two saves to backstop Boston’s defense while defender Courtney Jones and forward Katie Schoepfer provided the offense with goals less than 100 second apart in the first half.
The game Thursday is the last match at home for the Breakers before they set out on a seven-game road trip that won’t see them return to Harvard Stadium until August 3.
Boston will be without U.S. internationals Kristie Mewis and Heather O’Reilly against Seattle.
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Photo courtesy of Boston Breakers and Seattle Reign FC