In the third match up of 2018, the Red Stars host the Houston Dash in what will be the final time the two teams come together this season. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 12, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Looking ahead of the final Chicago/Houston duel, here’s Houston’s Scouting Report:
Offense on the Mend
In a rare change of events, the Dash earned points in their last two matches, including a daunting 3-2 victory against Sky Blue, their first three points of the year. All three goals came from new scorers, Nichelle Prince (24’), Rachel Daly (59’) and Veronica Latsko (79’). Just last night, Houston battled to a 1-1 draw against Portland, sharing a point with the fourth-place team. After being away with the Australian National Team, forward Kyah Simon made her debut for the Dash just weeks prior, notching her first goal for the club in the draw. Forward Kealia Ohai also made her season debut recently after missing much of last season due to an ACL injury.
Defense Lacking Momentum
Despite going on a two-game undefeated streak, the Dash have been lacking in one area on the field: defense. Houston has conceded 10 goals in seven games, tied for the most in the league. Of those 10 goals, nine have been tallied from inside the 18-yard box, the most of any team this season. Three goals have been scored in the first 15 minutes, while six goals were tallied in the second half alone, proving to be a weak point in Houston’s play. Going into their third game in a week, the Dash will have to find some second-half momentum.
Reshuffling Coaching Staff
After a change in coaching staff ahead of the 2018 season, the Dash have accumulated the same number of points after the first seven games as they did in 2017. Last season under head coach Randy Waldrum, Houston saw itself win two of their first three matches. Unfortunately, the Dash fell to a six-game losing streak after. This season, under new head coach Vera Pauw, Houston drew both of their first games, showing a steady incline from the previous season by earning at least a point in most four of their seven matches.