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Reign vs Breakers Stream and Game Thread: Cautiously Optimistic

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The consensus worst team in the league takes a long road trip to face a team that hasn’t surrendered a goal in four games and is adding two international-quality players to the lineup. Seems good.

It is intrinsic to the experience of sports that the unexpected happens. That’s why nothing can be taken for granted tonight when the Seattle Reign host the Boston Breakers tonight at 7 at Memorial Stadium. But all of the evidence points to what should be a successful night for Seattle.

Boston is coming off of a humiliating 7-1 loss at Western New York in which the entire team looked disinterested. And tonight the defense will be even weaker now that they’ve lost Whitney Engen to US national team duty. In their 10 matches this season, the last-place Breakers have only scored three goals, and allowed 22.

Meanwhile the Reign have not allowed a goal in four consecutive matches — three of them on the road. The major weakness seems to be the offense, but tonight we should see the return of Naho Kawasumi to the team and the return of Manon Melis to the starting lineup from a long-term injury. Those two additions should have a major impact on the Reign’s ability to threaten the Boston goal and create space for Kim Little and Bev Yanez to operate in.

Seattle’s losses to national team duty are Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe, but Solo has a very capable backup in Haley Kopmeyer and Rapinoe hasn’t appeared yet for the team this season, so could hardly be counted as a loss.

So tonight the already strong Reign get stronger, the struggling Breakers get weaker, and as long as the soccer gods don’t play us a cruel hand, Seattle should be expected to to dominate the game and get back to a winning tradition that could push them into playoff contention.