On Thursday WNYF announced that Abby Wambach would not participate in their first home game against the Boston Breakers. This is due to a recent head injury she suffered in week two against the Washington Spirit. Wambach walked away experiencing concussion-like symptoms, as a precaution the club have decided to bench her for the match.
Wambach's absence might affect the squad's performance against the Boston Breakers. The Flash must find effective streams of communication and teamwork to obtain a lead in the game. This will allow the coaching staff to observe their squad in a different alignment as they cannot rely solely on Wambach to produce goals. Unfortunately, this means there will be no Wambach-Samantha Kerr partnership, which was productive in their match against the Spirit. The Flash must avoid placing pressure on Kerr to perform at the same standards without Wambach if she lacks support from the midfield, which is vital in order to produce a strong offensive play.
The Breakers have a golden opportunity to progress in the standings if they stick to their winning formula which is to use Sydney Leroux and Kyah Simon at the top, assisted by Heather O'Reilly in midfield. However, following a post-game interview Coach Lisa Cole, mentioned giving creative attacking players that can open up scoring opportunities on the field, to give them time to play and she specifically mentioned Canadian national teamer Adriana Leon. If the match is playing in the Breakers favor, then it might be a good time to release Leon on the field in place of Simon.
Adrianna Franch's performance will depend on if she had food that night or not, because if she is hungry, strikers should beware that Franch eats soccer balls for dinner. This might rile up O'Reilly as she gets easily frustrated when her advances up the field are not met with success. Nonetheless, this match will see a lot of chances produced by the Breakers, and possibly allow them to break through the third slot tie.
The Flash need to take this opportunity and utilize their great reserve of players. Amy Barczuk could be fielded as a defender or deployed in midfield, her primary position during her CU Buff days. She is explosive on the field and the best option to prevent agile performers such as O'Reilly from pushing forward. Vicki DiMartino is another player that should see the field for this match as she could boost the midfield, or she should take over Adriana's role in the front, and play alongside Samantha Kerr. A Samantha Kerr- Veronica Perez partnership, or a Samantha Kerr-Vicki DiMartino combination might be the best starting option for the Flash.
The Western New York Flash can be likened to a DeLorean; they need a flux capacitor in order to see them through a world where roads are not required. Unfortunately, the Flash lacks this key part in the form of the missing Carli Lloyd. The Flash need to push up in the league (at the moment they occupy the last place slot), upon Lloyd's return she is sure to wreak havoc on the field and put in a strong performance for the club but until then the Flash need to burrow into the top four of the league or else their dreams of obtaining another championship title will diminish.
Western New York Flash Injuries
OUT: Abby Wambach (head), Carli Lloyd (left shoulder), Sarah Huffman
Boston Breakers Injuries
OUT: Bianca D'Agostino (partially torn ACL), Maddy Evans (school commitments), Anisa Guajardo (school commitments), Jessica Luscinski (ankle), Casey Short (ACL)
Match Date/Time: Saturday April 27, 7:35pm EDT
Venue: Sahlen Stadium, Rochester, New York
Online: NNWSL Soccer YouTube Channel