CHICAGO, IL (May 3, 2013) – The Red Stars will begin a three-game stretch in Boston Saturday night at 6pm ET before traveling to New Jersey Wednesday for a 7pm ET match-up, then returning to Chicago for a rematch against Portland Thorns FC on Sunday, May 12th 5pm CT.
Head Coach Rory Dames anticipates a tough match-up in New England against the Breakers to start this tough May grind. “They’ve gotten off to a good start. O’Reilly and LeRoux are both very dangerous up front, and they have 2 very experienced center backs, especially Kia McNeill. We’ll have to play better than we did against Portland to get anything out of this game.” The Red Stars currently stand at 0-1-1 after a home opener 1-1 tie with Seattle Reign FC and a 0-2 loss to Portland last Saturday in Chicago.
Boston recently defeated the Western New York Flash 2-1 after coming back from an early deficit with a pair of goals from Heather O’Reilly. The 1-1-0 Breakers have recently added some new talent and depth to their roster in acquiring Flash defender Melinda Mercado, in exchange for WNY’s second round pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft. According to Head Coach Lisa Cole, Mercado is a good addition to the Breakers, as her versatility allows her to play center back and wide if needed.
After a brief return to Chicago, the Red Stars will travel back east to New Jersey to face Sky Blue FC, who – like the Boston Breakers – will have come off a week of rest between games. “It’s going to be a different three game run for us in the next two weeks,” said Dames. “Both Boston and Sky Blue will have had a week to prepare between our games and their last matches, so we go in with a little bit of a disadvantage.”
Sky Blue recently suffered their first loss of the season to Western New York Flash, after allowing two goals early into the game and, in the words of Head Coach Jim Gabarra, were “fortunate to still be in the game by scoring a goal in the last few minutes of the first half.” But even with their recent loss, the 2-0-1 Sky Blue still have USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara, an attack-minded forward in Australian Lisa DeVanna, and a creative playmaker in Canadian midfielder Sophie Schmidt.
Keeping these next two road opponents in mind, Dames stated that the depth within the Red Stars squad and mentality within the group are going to have to come to the forefront for them to be able to compete. “It’s tough to play three games in 9 days, especially when your opponents have had a week of rest at home, and you’ve had three days on the road,” Dames said. “But I think the group is up for it, and is looking forward to the challenge. It will be a good character builder for us to see how we do over this stretch.”
The May 4th match vs. Boston Breakers is set for 6:00pm ET at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, MA, and can be streamed from www.bostonbreakers.com. The May 8th match vs. Sky Blue FC kicks off at 7:00pm EST at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey, and will be streamed from www.skybluefc.com.
The Breakers will be selling “Boston Strong-Breakers Pride” wristbands for the May 4th game, with all proceeds going to One Fund Boston. The Fund was created by the Governor of Massachusetts and Mayor of Boston to assist the people affected by the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings. Fans can name their own price, with a minimum of one dollar per wristband.
The Red Stars will be without midfielder Shannon Boxx, who underwent a successful arthroscopic knee surgery on April 30th to repair a minor tear in her meniscus. Boxx is recovering positively, but a return date has not yet been announced. Also missing from the Red Stars line-up is former Boston Breakers player Taryn Hemmings, who has remained in Chicago to rest a minor hamstring injury. Hemmings is expected to join the team in New Jersey.