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Boston Breakers Improve Playoff Chances, Miss Chance for Second Place

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 01:  Kelly Smith of England looks on before the Women's World Cup Qualifier match between England and Spain at the New Den on April 1, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Lee PenderContributor IAugust 10, 2010

The Boston Breakers, aside from Kelly Smith, are slightly less torrid than they were going into last Sunday's game in Philadelphia against the Independence. But they're still on course for the playoffs.

The Breakers went into Philly with a chance to steal second place in the WPS table and came out with a hard-fought 2-2 draw—and a solid lock in the third spot in the standings. (The top four teams earn playoff berths.) Lauren Cheney found her way back onto the score sheet with an opening goal for Boston, only for Philadelphia's excellent midfielder, Holmfridur Magnusdottir, to cancel out Cheney's strike and then put the Independence ahead 2-1 in a busy first half.

But Smith, who scored for the fourth consecutive game and now has 10 goals on the season, equalized early in the second half, and the Breakers came away with a valuable point. They now sit five points ahead of fourth-place Chicago and have a game in hand. Perhaps the greatest threat to Boston in the standings at this point is Sky Blue FC, which trails Boston by five points but has a game in hand on the Breakers.

As luck (and the WPS schedule) would have it, the Breakers will take on Sky Blue on Sunday at 6 p.m. in their last regular-season home game at Harvard Stadium for 2010. As always, playoff implications will be strong.

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