One week ago, the Houston Dash hosted Seattle Reign FC at home. At that point, the Dash were still in the race for the playoffs. That match up would find the Dash on the losing end of a 4-1 scoreline. This past Sunday, Houston would see the chances of a post-season slip away as they lost to the Portland Thorns 1-0.
Now, with three games left in their first season, the Dash will look to play for a little redemption Wednesday against the Seattle Reign.
At this point in the season, Houston knows what they are up against with Seattle. Sydney Leroux is top of the list up front for Seattle. Her prowess offensively is something Houston has struggled to get under control in the past. She is quick and has a great ability to turn and leave defenders reeling. She has five goals for the Reign this season.
The biggest threats however are Kim Little and Nahomi Kawasumi. Little scored a brace against the Dash last week and through the season, she's netted 14 goals total, making her the top goal scorer of the league in 2014. It's a sure possibility that she will look to add to that number and on Seattle home turf as well. Kawasumi is also a force to watch. She has 7 goals for the Reign and provided quite a bit of trouble for Houston last Wednesday.
The Dash proved in the last match up that they could get around the Seattle defense, that it was possible. However, the issue for Houston continues to be finishing. Hope Solo in the net for the Reign doesn't help that problem either.
For Houston, however, the numbers do not tell the full story of the team. Though they are 8th in the league, the team's first season in the NWSL has been anything but what is expected from an expansion team. There have been glaring problems for the new NWSL team, however, Houston has bright spots as well.
College Draft acquisition Kealia Ohai has been the brightest as of late. This season, she's tallied four goals for Houston and in the past few games, has been a driving force for the offensive. Look for her to continue to push and use her speed to look for scoring opportunities. Tiffany McCarty is the other offensive star for the Dash. She has four goals this season as well and was an immediate impact up front against Portland Sunday.
Another stand out in the past few weeks has been Stephanie Ochs. She's been key in creating plays, pushing the ball up and working through the midfield. Her set pieces have also been spot on for the Dash, helping to create even more chances for goals. She will be another to watch during the Seattle game.
Defensively, Erin McLeod has been a phenomenal goal keeper for Houston this season; her strong presence in the net has saved the Dash multiple times. The Houston Dash defensive line will need to be on their top game to help McLeod out.
Kick off for the Dash vs. Reign game will be at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6. A link for the match stream will be posted on Dynamo Theory prior to kick off.