July 10, 2011

WPS Preview: Atlanta at Boston

Atlanta Beat at Boston Breakers (6 pm eastern, Sunday)
Harvard Stadium, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Boston Breakers
Coach: Tony DiCicco (who will not be present because of his World Cup assignment)
Goalkeepers: A. Naeher, A. Phillips, K. Spisak.
Defenders: L. Bogus, K. Moore (questionable), E. Reed, N. Cross.
Midfielders: L. Osborne, K. Winters, M. Klingenberg (probable), K. Schoepfer, L. Blayney.
Forwards: T. Hemmings, K. Dallstream, C. Zimmeck.
Not active: R. Buehler, S. Cox, A. LePeilbet, A. Scott, A. Sameshima, L. Cheney, K. O'Hara, K. Smith, I. Dieke (injury), K. Davis (injury), J. Angeli (injury).

Atlanta Beat
Coach: James Galanis.
Goalkeepers: A. Whitworth, A. Lipsher.
Defenders: C. Whitehill, A. Marquez, K. Reynolds, C. Flanagan.
Midfielders: L. Chalupny, K. White, K. Wright, I. Trotter, B. D'Agostino, A. Salem.
Forwards: M. Lenczyk, K. Parker, L. Sesselmann.
Not active: C. Lloyd, H. Mitts, K. Dowling (injury), K. Fraine, J. Sitch, M. Jesolva.

Boston will most likely add temporary players to their roster to fill it out in absence of all of their World Cup players. Atlanta will be shorthanded as well without Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts. These two teams met right before the break with the match ending in a scoreless draw.

The Breakers are on a modest three game unbeaten streak. The last two of those matches have been scoreless ties, however, hardly something to get overly excited about. It points to the scoring woes Boston is having without their three top attacking players, Lauren Cheney, Kelly O'Hara, and Kelly Smith, although they did have Smith for the first of those two matches.

Atlanta is also having problems scoring. They have been shut out in seven of their last nine matches and are looking for their first win since April. They will look to forwards Meghan Lenczyk and Kelly Parker, as well as midfielders Lori Chalupny and Kacey White to help them break out of their slump.

Atlanta has had a lot of problems on the road. Their road record is a miserable 0-5-1 and they have yet to score a road goal, being outscored 13-0 in those six matches. They do not travel well.

Boston will look to a fairly talented midfield to win this match. Leslie Osborne is matched with two good young players in rookies Meghan Klingenberg and Keelin Winters. Both forwards Taryn Hemmings and Kiersten Dallstream have good speed and will test the Beat defense.

The goalkeeping matchup is intact, in spite of the World Cup, with Allison Whitworth for Atlanta and Alyssa Naeher for Boston.

Boston has slowly fought their way back into the playoff chase, but they must make the most of their remaining matches. Atlanta is looking to find some positives in what has been a lackluster season.