The Houston Dash will face the Western New York Flash for the first time this season on Saturday, 6:00pm, at Sahlen’s Stadium.
Although the Dash have had a rough season of injuries and losses, things are beginning to look up for the team. The home game May 23 against the Chicago Red Stars saw the team gain their first home goal at the feet of Ella Masar. The forward celebrated the historic first home goal by ripping off her shirt, a la Brandy Chastain, and sliding on her knees to the corner flag. In addition, Austrian international player Nina Burger scored her first NWSL goal in a narrow, last minute loss to the Washington Spirit on May 26. If that were not enough, the Dash has even more reason to celebrate with the homecoming of Tyreso players Whitney Engen and Megan Klingenberg. Both USWNT players will be available starting June 2.
Saturday’s game against the Flash will be Houston’s second game in a three away-game stretch. In the 2013 season, WNYF won the Supporter’s Shield. This year, the team sits in a less comfortable fourth place. Despite this, New York is a stable for such US Women’s National Team stars as Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd.
The match will be a battle of offense. Abby Wambach, a previous winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or (Women’s World Player of the Year), has notched 4 goals this season for New York. She also boasts the impressive record of most international goals scored, passing Mia Hamm’s record. Behind her, Lloyd and Vicky Losada each have two goals under their belt. The Dash defense, led by Osinachi Ohale and Ari Romero, will have to stand strong against such proven mettle. Coach Randy Waldrum has also made the strategic decision to slide Stephanie Ochs back to a defensive role. Here, Ochs has provided fast bursts of speed to feed the ball to waiting forwards.
The Dash’s offense continues to test their chemistry. The team has yet to establish a dominant striker, tending to rely more on the overall contributions of multiple players. Success in set pieces continues to elude the Dash, though defender Osinache Ohale earned her first goal of the year off a set piece against the Chicago Red Stars. If the Dash can carry this momentum forward, we will find far more goals on the scoreboard.
The Dash will face Sky Blue FC June 8th before returning to BBVA Compass Stadium on June 11th. There, the team will face Western New York Flash a second time. Immediately following this home match, the Houston Dynamo will play the Laredo Heat in the Open Cup.