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Beat to Break the Breakers

August 20, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release


KENNESAW, GA (Aug. 20, 2010) - The Atlanta Beat (4-10-5) travel to Veterans Memorial Stadium in New Britain, Conn. on Saturday, August 21 to face the Boston Breakers (8-6-5) in their third of four meetings this season.

Boston hosted each of the previous two match-ups on their home field at Harvard Stadium. However, a scheduling conflict allows the teams to play in front of their Connecticut fan base at yet another historic venue. The fourth and final match between these two teams takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 1 and will be their single meeting held at Atlanta Beat's home stadium.

"I'm excited and looking forward to my teammates seeing what great soccer fans there are in Connecticut," said Beat defender and Connecticut native, Kia McNeill. "This is where the game and the dream started for me, so playing at home is always going to give me a special feeling."

The Beat seek their first win against the Breakers this weekend after falling in their previous two by one goal and two goal margins.

When they first met on Sunday, July 11, Beat midfielder Johanna Rasmussen scored the opening goal just six minutes into the match to give the Beat a 1-0 first half advantage and a record breaking earliest franchise goal scored. The reenergized Boston club came back in the second half to finish three goals in five minutes (Jordan Angeli, Kelly Smith and Liz Bogus) to earn the 3-1 result.

Boston again hosted the Beat on Wednesday, Aug. 4 when the Beat fell 2-0 on first and second half goals by Kelly Smith. Smith notched the opening goal in the first minute of play before finishing her second of the night at 62 minutes.

Coming into the match, Atlanta looks to rebound from a three game skid after a recent 3-2 loss against to the second-place Philadelphia Independence last week. In that Aug. 15 match, the Beat's Johanna Rasmussen again scored the team's earliest goal in franchise history with a strike in the fourth minute, beating her previously held record of six minutes. Beat midfielder Lori Chalupny put away the second goal with an assist from Aya Miyama just moments before Philadelphia notched one going into the half. The Independence scored two second half goals, earning a 3-2 result.

The Breakers, who approach this match on a five-game undefeated streak, are without four players away on National Team duty: defenders Ifeoma Dieke (Scotland) and Alex Scott(England) and midfielder Kelly Smith (England). Also to note is midfielder Leslie Osborne's season-ending collar bone injury suffered during the Breakers' Aug. 15 match against Sky Blue FC.

The Beat approach this match led by interim head coach James Galanis who is "looking forward to the weekend. "The girls put in a hard couple of days both mentally and physically. Now they've just got to go in and empty the tanks." Former Beat head coach Gareth O'Sullivan and assistant coach Robbie Nicholson were relieved of coaching duties Tuesday, Aug. 17.

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