It's been a rather strange week for the Houston Dash. The squad was set to take on Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, but never took the field for the match due to weather conditions. After a flight back home, the Dash now have to get set for a third match up against another East Coast rival, the Western New York Flash.
The two previous meetings of these teams proved to be quite interesting and definitely favorable for the Houston Dash. So far, they've beat New York twice with a scoreline of 2-1 each time. Now, after three losses, Houston will look to gain a bit more confidence from a third win from the Flash. And with a number of players who've been waiting to start for Houston, the possibility for that third win is very likely.
Houston at full strength?
It's been quite the season for the Dash when it comes to injuries, players being called up for international duty and players finishing out European seasons before joining the team. But it seems like it's all finally coming together for Houston. Saturday's match up will finally see defender Meghan Klingenberg in the line up. She has been unavailable for the Dash due to paperwork issues and then international call up, but fans can look to see her in the back on Saturday along side fellow USWNT defender Whitney Engen.
Other good news for the defensive line is that stand-out Osi Ohale will hopefully be recovered from the illness she suffered earlier this week and will be available to play. Ohale has been quite the force as of late for Houston in the back line.
Holding possession and creating chances up front will be key for the Dash this weekend. The team has shown more solid performance in the midfield as the season goes on, and that has translated to more opportunities toward goal. However, consistently translating those chances into goals has been the trouble so far. Houston will need to finish every chance they get to hold up against New York.
While Houston did not play on Wednesday, the Western New York Flash did against league-leaders, Seattle Reign FC. Thought New York scored the first goal and held the lead for the half, Seattle came roaring back in the second half to win 2-1. But don't count on the loss making this team too down and out. Though it's their second loss in the past three games, New York is a solid team, currently sitting fourth in the league.
Of course one of New York's greatest assets is in midfielder Carli Lloyd. In the teams' first meeting in New York, Houston were able to not only frustrate Lloyd, but keep her from making runs toward goal and providing service to the Flash forwards. The Dash will need to do the same again to keep her out of the game, which is important.
But Lloyd isn't the only offensive player Houston will need to watch out for. Forward Samantha Kerr was quite the problem for the Houston defense in the last match up. She's currently eighth in the league with number of goals this season and will be looking to build on that number. Look for the Dash to keep Kerr and Lloyd from hooking up and making runs on goal.
The Houston Dash and Western New York Flash game will kick off at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium