The Houston Dash will return home Saturday, May 3 to take on FC Kansas City at 7 p.m. CT, coming off a loss on the road to Seattle Reign FC.
Watch out for A-Rod and Holiday
Right now in the standings, Kansas City sit in fourth place in the standings with only one win thus far this season, which they earned last week in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars. Their strongest force in front is team-leading goal scorer Amy Rodriguez. Rodriguez – who is a seasoned U.S. Women's National Team player – was allocated to the Seattle Reign for the 2013 NWSL season, but had to miss due to pregnancy. In 2011, she clocked 641 minutes over 10 matches for the Philadelphia Independence. She is a proficient goal scorer, tallying 12 regular season goals and six assists in her first season in professional soccer. Rodriguez can be dangerous from anywhere on the field and is already looking to make a statement this season. Covering her will be top priority for the Dash.
Another forward to be mindful of is Lauren Holiday. The Indianapolis native was the league leader in goals in 2013 and named NWSL's Player of the Year last season.
Also a USWNT veteran, Holiday is also a force to be reckoned with. Her list of accomplishments for the national team shows she has become a key offense player for the US and Kansas City. She's a strong player and with her back to goal, is one of the best. She is an adept passer and lethal scorer when facing the net.
As for KC's defense, the line of Leigh Ann Robinson, Becky Sauerbrunn, Nikki Phillips and Kassey Kallman will be a wall Houston will need to find a crack in. During their game against the Red Stars, KC's back line were able to keep Chicago's offense to only 9 shots through the whole match, with only three on goal.
Kyle to start?
After a rough and tiring game against Seattle last weekend, the Houston Dash will look to take a commanding presence on home turf. Earlier this week, the team announced the trade of defender Nikki Washington – who took a few hard knocks in the game against the Reign – to the Boston Breakers in exchange for Canadian international Kaylyn Kyle.
Kyle has already jumped into the Dash's line up. Houston's coach Randy Waldrum has said he will put her in contention for a start in the match Saturday.
"She was on our scouting report as one of their key players," Waldrum told reporters Wednesday at Houston Sports Park.
Kyle played 21 games for Seattle Reign FC last season and scored three goals on six shots on goal during 2013. She has also played six seasons for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL W-Leauge, scoring two goals in three games during the team's 2011 W-League playoffs. She has 79 caps, including 51 starts, for the Canadian Women's National Team.
Houston further improved their ranks in offense this past week with the signing of Austrian forward Nina Burger. Burger, 26, left the Austrian club SV Neulengbach, where she had been since 2005, to join the Dash. She scored 226 goals in her nine years with Neulengbach, claiming the league scoring title six times from 2006-12, and was voted player of the year in 2010. She currently tops the ÖFB Fraunliga scoring charts for the 2013-14 season with 20 goals in 12 games.