May 13, 2011

WPS Friday Night - Boston at Western New York

Boston Breakers at Western New York Flash (7:30 pm eastern, Friday)
Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, New York.

Western New York Flash (3-0-1)
Coach: Aaran Lines
Goalkeepers: A. Harris, B. Cameron, A. Bowers
Defenders: W. Engen, K. Wilson, G. Lewandowski, K. Brandao, A. Sahlen.
Midfielders: B. Edwards, Y. Averbuch, B. Bock, M. Zerboni, B. Goebel, J. Sitch.
Forwards: G. Davison, K. Parker.
Not active: C. Chapman, A. Morgan, A. Riley, C. Seger, C. Sinclair, Marta, Maurine, K. Fountain (injured).

Boston Breakers (2-3-0)
Coach: Tony DiCicco
Goalkeepers: A. Naeher, K. Davis.
Defenders: I. Dieke, K. Moore, E. Reed.
Midfielders: L. Osborne, K. Winters, N. Cross, L. Bogus, K. Schoepfer, L. Blayney.
Forwards: T. Hemmings, N. Washington, K. Dallstream, C. Zimmeck.
Not active: R. Buehler, L. Cheney, S. Cox, A. LePeilbet, A. Scott, K. Smith, K. O'Hara (injured), J. Angeli (injured), A. Phillips.

Depth matters. At least it certainly does this week. With a number of players away on national team duty, WPS teams will reach deep into their rosters to put eleven players on the pitch this weekend. The first contest of a light schedule is Friday night's battle between the Western New York Flash and the Boston Breakers.

This is a critical game for Boston. They enter this match with more losses than wins. To make matters worse, they will be missing their entire back line and three of their best offensive players to boot.

As far as the defense goes, Boston will have veterans Ifeoma Dieke and Kasey Moore to fill in. We will also likely see young defender Elli Reed out of Portland.

This is a chance for some of Boston's younger players to make an impression and players like Nikki Washington, Kiersten Dallstream, Taryn Hemmings, and Katie Schoepfer will get a chance to step up. The midfield is the area where the Breakers are most intact with Leslie Osborne and Keelin Winters leading the way there.

Western New York will also be missing a few defenders, but will have starters Whitney Engen and Kandace Wilson. Gina Lewandowski will likely fill one of the other defensive positions.

In the midfield, WNY will miss the services of Caroline Seger, but they do get Yael Averbuch back which will certainly be a boost. And with Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan, and Marta all gone, it will be up to Gemma Davison and Kelly Parker to provide offense for the Flash.

The two goalkeepers will both be present, which could signal a low scoring match. Alyssa Naeher and Ashlyn Harris are two of the best young keepers in this country.

One thing that national team call-ups do give us is the opportunity to watch other players develop and show their skills. It will be interesting to see if these players rise to the occasion.