Preview: Sky Blue FC v. Boston Breakers

By MC Bousquette
Staff Writer

Sky Blue FC (2-6-5) aim to continue the momentum from last Sunday’s three-goal performance as they face the Boston Breakers (3-7-3) on Saturday. With a difficult schedule coming up for Sky Blue, a win on Saturday is absolutely vital for the club’s playoff chances.

The Competition:

The Breakers have definite firepower up top. Standout rookie Stephanie McCaffrey and Australian WNT member Kyah Simon have potential to heavily threaten the Sky Blue back line, especially as Simon jives more and more with the rest of the squad. Kristie Mewis, who played with McCaffrey at Boston College, is another rising star who can leverage any space she’s given to produce solid chances.

Another big threat to Sky Blue is the woman in goal; 2014 NWSL goalkeeper of the year and USWNT member, Alyssa Naeher. On Wednesday, Naeher notched seven saves against the first-place Chicago Red Stars, no small feat against the offensive power.

Sky Blue

In Sky Blue’s first encounter with the Breakers this year, the sides tied 1-1; look for a different story this go-around. With newcomer Sam Kerr making an immediate impact on the squad, Kelley O’Hara back from the USWNT and still on fire, and defender Christie Rampone surprising everyone by scoring, this Sky Blue attack seems to be turning a corner. The deadly combination of O’Hara and Nadia Nadim, and the new, but exciting Kerr-Nadim connection will be vital, as will Katy Freels’ killer strike and playmaking ability. Caitlin Filigno, the Canadian WNT member who saw only moments on the pitch against the Western New York Flash, is another exciting option to bolster Sky Blue’s attack.

Defensively, however, Sky Blue has cause to worry. While the poor defensive performance against the Flash last weekend may have been due to fatigue from the heat and humidity, the back line was almost a gaping hole. Even though her defenders were lethargic, goalkeeper Brittany Cameron had another stellar game, and saved Sky Blue numerous times with her dynamic play in goal. If the defense comes together, as it should under Australian WNT veteran Caitlin Foord and Rampone, and Cameron continues her strong play, Sky Blue just may see everything fall into place.

The Bottom Line:

Both teams really need three points out of this match. The Breakers are in second to last place, and certainly don’t want to continue their slide by losing to Sky Blue. Sky Blue, in contrast, need a meteoric comeback to land a playoff slot, and truly must come out firing on all cylinders. Expect to see a fiery battle between two sides try to clamber their way out of the bottom.

Sky Blue FC take on the Boston Breakers this Saturday, July 25th at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ at 7pm EST (Stream it live here).



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