NWSL Matchday Preview | Boston Breakers vs. Portland Thorns FC | Aug. 10, 2014

Thorns take on the Breakers with playoff positioning on the line

Matchday Preview, Thorns @ Breakers, 8.10.14

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
MATCH INFORMATION
Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Harvard Stadium (Boston, Mass.)
Forecast: Sunny, 82 degrees
Referee: Timon Berry
Assistant Referees: Amanda Ross, Ian McKay
Fourth Official: Randall Kelley
 
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MATCH PREVIEW

Thorns FC and the Boston Breakers meet for the third, and final, time this season on Sunday at Harvard Stadium; kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. With two matches left on the regular-season schedule, Portland is in the hunt for one of two remaining NWSL playoff spots. Thorns FC can clinch a playoff berth with a win on Sunday and either a Chicago Red Stars loss or draw on Saturday.
 
Portland enters Sunday’s match following a 1-0 win against the Houston Dash. Midfielder Vero Boquete scored the game-winning goal in the 54th minute to secure the victory.

In two matches this season, Boston and Portland have combined for 14 goals with each team scoring seven goals. Both games featured a hat trick. Forward Christine Sinclair has scored four of her seven goals against Boston this season.

 

LAST TIME AGAINST BOSTON

Thorns FC rallied from a one-goal deficit three times, scoring three second-half goals to earn a 6-3 win against the Breakers on July 20 at Providence Park. Forward Christine Sinclair tallied the first hat trick in club history, while the two teams combined for the most goals in a single match (9) in NWSL history. Sinclair equalized right before the end of the first half in the 42nd minute and gave Portland 4-3 lead less than a minute into the second half. Forward Alex Morgan added a goal in the 52nd minute, while forward Jessica McDonald tallied Portland’s sixth goal of the match in the 88th minute. Morgan finished the match with a goal and two assists. Midfielder Allie Long tallied a penalty-kick goal in the 21st minute. Defender Steph Catley and midfielders Vero Boquete and Angie Kerr each registered an assist in the match.

SCOUTING BOSTON

Boston has been eliminated from NWSL playoff contention and enters Sunday’s match following a 2-1 loss at FC Kansas City on Wednesday. The match was delayed for two hours as a result of severe weather and called final after the two teams were unable to complete the match following a second weather delay at halftime.

The Breakers have conceded multiple goals in their last eight matches and have just one win in their last eight matches. In their last 10 matches, Boston has conceded at least three goals four times and has scored first four times, but has only won once. Boston has been shutout once in their last 10 matches in a 2-0 loss against Seattle Reign FC on June 19.

Midfielder Heather O’Reilly leads the team with eight goals and four assists, having tallied at least one point in five straight matches. Forward Jazmines Reeves has added seven goals, while midfiedler Lianne Sanderson has tallied five goals. Alyssa Naeher is the only goalkeeper in the NWSL to feature all season and leads the league in saves (85).

 

VERO NAMED NWSL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Midfielder Vero Boquete earned her third NWSL Player of the Week award this week for Week 17. Boquete garnered honors during both Week 10 and Week 14 this season. The Spain Women’s National Team captain scored the game-winning goal on Sunday in the 54th minute against Houston in a 1-0 win. Boquete has started all 13 matches since her arrival in Portland, recording four goals and six assists for Thorns FC.

LEAGUE LEADERS

Forward Jessica McDonald is tied for third in the league in goals scored (11), while midfielder Allie Long is tied for fifth with nine goals. Forward Christine Sinclair ranks second in shots (66) and is tied for second in shots on goal (33). Midfielder Vero Boquete and defender Steph Catley both rank among league leaders in assists with six and five, respectively. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer is among league leaders with 65 saves.