Abby Smith, rookie goalkeeper for the Boston Breakers, has suffered a season-ending injury of a strained ACL and torn patellar tendon. The Breakers were able to sign Jami Kranich, who was on the team’s roster for two seasons and was waived prior to the current season.
Breakers head coach Matt Beard confirmed in a Wednesday phone interview with Excelle Sports that Kranich is already in training with the Breakers today.
As for Smith, her injury happened on a routine enough play. In the 29th minute, defender Kassey Kallman misplayed the long ball and it landed directly in front of Chicago forward Jen Hoy. Smith reacted aggressively by stepping outside the 18 aggressively to cut off the angle.
There was no contact. Hoy launched her shot high; and there was no immediate indication Smith was even hurt until she was unable to stand a few seconds after the play.
Smith’s night was ended, and Breakers head coach Matt Beard confirmed postgame she’d require scans to know the full extent of the injury. By Tuesday, the Breakers knew she’d require surgery. And by Wednesday, the team released that she would not return for the season to allow for recovery.
Libby Stout, signed as the Breakers’ starting keeper, has been battling a minor right quad strain. Despite being listed on the official league injury report, she was able to relieve Smith after her injury. While Beard wasn’t ready to confirm who would be starting in this weekend’s upcoming away match versus Sky Blue FC, he did say that, “We’ve looked after her the last couple of weeks, with everything she’s had. I’d probably say she’s 500% now.”
While there had been some speculation that the Breakers could pick up a goalkeeper from another NWSL team, the answer for Matt Beard was still in Boston. “It was fortunate that Kranich had not been picked up on waivers and was still in market. I’m delighted she’s agreed to come back.” While Kranich’s role will still be primarily back up for Libby Stout, thanks to her two years with the team and having previously played most of the Breakers defensive line, her transition will be seamless.
The Breakers could certainly use some good news this season so far, having yet to record a win in the 2016 season. Including the final match of the 2015 season, they’ve been held scoreless for five matches and 452 minutes.