FC Kansas City (2-1-1, 7pts) vs. Boston Breakers (2-0-2, 8pts)
Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 5:35pm PDT (8:35pm EDT)
Verizon Field, Overland Park, Kansas
Watch The Match Here!
Twitter – @FCKansasCity @BostonBreakers
After the Portland Thorns FC loss Thursday night to Sky Blue FC, the Boston Breakers became the last undefeated team in the NWSL and they take their unbeaten streak to Overland Park, Kansas against a very dangerous FC Kansas City squad.
“They’re good,” said Breakers Head Coach Lisa Cole. “From the beginning I felt they were one of the teams that had a great allocation, and they have important pieces throughout the team – Lauren Cheney, Nicole Barnhart, Becky Sauerbrunn – and picking up Mexican goal scorer (Renae) Cuéllar. And they’ve done a good job with the other players as a supporting cast, making a name for themselves in the league. We’re excited about the challenge of taking them on. And we have a challenge for our defense to shut down the many attacking qualities they have.”
Although the story line many people have been talking about is the match-up of best friends Kristie Mewis (FCKC) and Sydney Leroux (BOS), the real story will be how the defenses of both squads will be able to handle Leroux and Cuellar.
Cuellar, third in the league in goals scored and in the top-10 in shots on goal, has been on an offensive tear since scoring the first goal in NWSL in the 3rd minute of FCKC’s first match. Cuellar had her three-match scoring streak stopped last week versus the Western New York Flash and played a season-low 59 minutes. The Flash managed to control Cuellar who was visibly frustrated and FCKC’s head coach Vlatko Andonovski subbed her out in the 59th minute for Erika Tymrak.
Andonovski told the KC Star after the match “We fought hard in the second half, but we were a little unorganized. This week we’re going to focus on being more disciplined.”
And that is the truth. FC Kansas City will need to be more disciplined especially on the defensive-side to control Leroux, the only player in NWSL history with a hat-trick. Tied for the league lead in goal with four, Leroux and fellow USWNT’er Heather O’Reilly have combined for six of Boston’s goals and 15 shots on goal in the team’s first four matches. Combine that with Lianne Sanderson who leads the NWSL in assists (3), it would seem that FCKC’s backline led by Becky Sauerbrunn and Lauren Sesselmann will have their work cut out for them.
Prediction: Look for a high-scoring match ending 3-2 in favor of the home squad, FC Kansas City.
NOTE: The Boston Breakers announced that their starting keeper Ashley Phillips will be unavailable for Saturday’s match and Cecilia Santiago is expected to get the start. Santiago became the youngest keeper (18 years old) to win a match in goal in the history of professional women’s soccer in the US after the Breakers 2-1 victory over the Flash on April 27th.