Sunday, August 7, 2011

Abby Wambach vs. the Boston Breakers Review

It didn't seem like a fair fight when we were first introduced to the teams.  The Boston Breakers were facing off tonight against the Abby Wambachs... err, I mean vs. the magicJack - located in Boca Raton, Florida - who traveled up to the Northeast to take on the Boston Breakers.  Both teams were fighting to stay alive in the playoff hunt in the WPS.  Coming on the heels of a fascinating World Cup in Germany, it seems almost anticlimactic to come to Harvard to watch the Breakers.  But after asking the kids if they wanted to see Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo again live in person and seeing their excitement, we knew where we were headed, umbrellas be damned.

Future World Cupper?
6pm. Allston.  Obviously, the Breakers are all about the kids.  Facepainting, soccer bouncy houses and giant slides dominated the pregame area, and the kids were in kitsch heaven.  This would have been worth the price of admission itself.  Even DLG got into the act when she succeeded in finishing 5 times around the Giant movers slide in under a minute (and she'll show you the certificate she won for doing so!).  But we had a game to watch. And while we were disappointed that Solo appeared not to be with the magicJack this time around, we were ready for some European Football. 

As we walk to our seats in the corner of the stadium, the kids see the first beach ball bouncing around our seats.  I didn't take notice of it the time, but these beach balls would soon cause us to lose our sanity.  But right now, everyone sits down patiently waiting for the game to start, our biggest worry being a correct translation of the seats 2 I-S O-1 through 5.  What the Hell are they talking about?  I get that we're at Harvard, but I'm not really interested in figuring out the Pythagorean Theorem while I'm here.

The game begins and I notice that the magicJack seem to be dominating play, a couple of misdirected shots, a couple of shots on goal and a shot that hits the crossbar all come from the magicJack.  The Breakers look a step behind and seemed ready to cede the game.  The crowd, half of which is rooting for Wambach, Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx anyway, politely applaud a poorly executed cross from the Breakers that was its only real scoring opportunity in the First Half.  I cause heads to turn when I exclaim that the cross was poorly executed.  So I shut my mouth.  No need to have anyone get bent out of shape.  (under my breath - although that was a horrible play!)

At the 44th minute, shades of the Women's World Cup are displayed when Rapinoe delivers a beautiful cross to Wambach's head.  1-0 magicJack.  That was a pretty goal.  It's amazing that this team is fighting for a playoff spot.  I take notice again that the boys are now watching beach balls fly by them in our section of the stadium.  I fail to take action, however, believing that the boys will play for a minute and then obediently take their seats.  The 1st half ends with the Breakers losing 1-0.

As the Second Half starts (and one suggestion, get the crowd pumped up for the beginning of the two halves, 2 minutes passed before I even noticed that they started playing again) the three kids are now in full beach ball mode.  While they stop when ever the crowd starts buzzing for a play, they continue to badger people to throw them the beach balls.  Just as I walk down to get DLG and G who strayed over to the section next to us, I get a glimpse of another pretty goal from the magicJack on a header from Wambach, this time from a corner kick on the far side of the field.  2-0 magicJack on two Wambach goals.  Seriously, this team is really good.  The Breakers are really in need of a timeout as the game really should be 4-0 or 5-0.  Even a close own goal for the Breakers fails to light a fire.  I think I'm the only one noticing though.

As the game winds down in the magicJack's favor, we decide to leave a little early.  And despite being outnumbered, Abby Wambach practically beats the Breakers herself.  More importantly, both LC and I are starting to get freaked out as the boys start hanging over the side of section asking people 30 feet below to throw them lost beach balls, so we knew it was time to go.  Expecting a half-hearted response to prove my parental point, I ask G what the score of the game was.

"Dad, the other team is winning 2-0 on two goals by that girl with the short hair who's really good."

OK, maybe they were paying attention while playing volleyball next to me.  And I had to promise to take them to another game.  Probably not until next year though, unless the Breakers can beat FC Skyblue next weekend.

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