The Seattle Reign come into this weekend's match riding a high after winning a home-and-away double against their Cascadia rivals Portland Thorns — in front of two record crowds — that put them on top of the Shield race.
But a sudden increase in the injury list puts the team in a precarious position for this long road trip to the East coast. An injury to Haley Kopmeyer in last week's win combined with an ongoing injury to Hope Solo is going to give Caroline Stanley her first professional start in goal. And Megan Rapinoe — just returned from her World Cup victory — is newly listed on the injury report as well. Fortunately, the team has depth on the wing with the recent signing of Katrine Veje, who was consistently dangerous in an extended substitute appearance against the Thorns.
If there's any team to go into an away match against playing some reserves, it's Boston. The Breakers have the worst goal difference in the league and only three wins all season — the last on May 30th. And their home of Soldiers Field is hardly a fortress — that run includes four consecutive losses at home, one of them against the Reign on June 21. That was Seattle's only win on the road all season until last week's 1-0 win in Portland.
Boston's lone bright spot — and leading scorer — is Kristie Mewis. And the re-addition of Australian Kyah Simon has given the team a little more firepower. But even with Rapinoe and Kopmeyer out, Seattle's squad is on another level. The question is whether that talent gap is enough to make up for Seattle's difficulty on the road this season and the baseline difficulty of winning games after traveling 3,000 miles.