Preview: Houston Dash vs Western New York Flash

Ella Masar, Houston Dash leading goal scorer slices through Sky Blue FC defenders. - Trask Smith | Blue City Photography

The Houston Dash have a rematch scheduled against Western New York Flash. Last time the two teams met, the Dash were able to edge out New York. But New York is coming off a 5-0 stunner over Portland Thorns. Which victory streak will prevail?

Houston Dash versus Western New York Flash

The Dash are riding the wave of their first victory streak into Wednesday night’s game after defeating BOTH Western New York Flash (2-1) and Sky Blue FC (3-0). They will face Western New York Flash for the second time this season, this time at BBVA Compass Stadium at 6:30pm. The game is the first part of a double header that will conclude with the Houston Dynamo facing Laredo Heat in the Open Cup.

Houston Dash Chemistry Coming to a Boil

The Houston Dash could not be in better positioning to tackle Western New York Flash again. The team’s chemistry is increasing daily, with more goals being posted every game. After struggling to create much of anything offensively for the first several games of the 2014 season, the Dash have exploded. The team now collectively boasts 13 goals, three of which were scored against Sky Blue FC. Ella Masar and Tiffany McCarty lead the Dash with three goals each, followed by Nina Burger with two of her own.

In addition to the offensive improvements, there is much to celebrate defensively. After injuries and absences from Randy Waldrum’s initial intended back line, the Dash relied heavily on a cast of young defenders. Before facing Sky Blue FC, the Dash had not boasted a single shut out. Whitney Engen, just returned from playing abroad with Sweden’s Tyreso, played her first match as a Dash defender against Sky Blue. Engen combined with Erin McLeod, nominated for Player of the Week, to put up the Dash’s first shutout of the season. Engen’s USWNT teammate, Meghan Klingenberg, will soon join her on the back line, but not before both leave for National Team duty ahead of Wednesday's match.

Nina Burger, Austrain National Team forward, will also be unavailable for Wednesday's match. Erin McLeod and Kaylyn Kyle will be joining the Canadian National Team after Wednesday's match.


Western New York Flash

The last time New York faced the Dash, they lost veteran forward Abby Wambach very early in the game due to an injury. The Dash were able to press their advantage to come back to take the lead, toppling the Flash 2-1.

The injury Wambach sustained, while reported as not serious, kept her out of the game New York played against the dangerous Portland Thorns. Even without Wambach, however, the team routed the Thorns 5-0. Wambach, tied with Carli Lloyd with four goals scored for the Flash, could be a game changer, but just like Klingenberg and Engen she will be on National Team duty ahead of Wednesday's match. Again, though, her loss does not cripple the team. After Wambach and Lloyd, Australian National team player Samantha Kerr and McCall Zerboni each have three goals apiece. Lloyd will join Wambach for National Team duty.

They have also recently added another Australian National Team player, Teigen Allen. It is unsure if she will be playing in Wednesday’s match due to visa and transfer documents. Teigen is a defender that played in the 2011 World Cup.

After facing the Flash, the Houston Dash will play FC Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match takes place June 14th at 8:00pm.

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