The NWSL season is almost here so to prepare we gathered all of our Houston Dash writers to ask them about the offseason, the upcoming 2016 season and more. Each day this week we will release a new question or two that we had our staffers answer.
The Dash will be successful if...
Meg: On the pitch, they can break the "give Carli the ball and let her shoot" mentality. Houston played well last year, but struggled when the National Teamers joined back up throughout the season. Carli runs hot and cold, so it's a gamble if the team can consistently count on her to be the one carrying the team with goals.
For fans though, the Dash have some big shoes to fill in terms of fan engagement. The past two years they had the McLeods who were unofficially the face of the team and who are loved by all fans regardless of league-loyalty. Sure Lloyd and Brian will pull in fans when they're in town, but they aren't able to engage with the fans like the McLeods could. Maybe they can give Chapman her own show?
Shana: The Dash will be successful if they continue to push with the fight that they've had since their inaugural season. There has never been a win or a loss from this team without the fight and the want. The team has progressively gotten bigger, better, faster, and stronger as they have matured and expanded. With as much chemistry as the players already have together all they have to do is continue with their fight. No longer being the youngest sister in the league, this is going to be a huge season for Houston.
Stephanie Ochs returns after missing last season with an ACL tear. Photo Credit
Daniel: If Kealia Ohai can make the leap to the next level. Houston's offensive prowess is its greatest strength, built with speed and resounding depth. Ohai's position is at the top of the Dash forward depth chart and rightly so. Without last year's leading goalscorer Jessica McDonald, it's Ohai's team once again even whether Lloyd is with the USWNT or wearing the armband for Houston. As Ohai goes, so goes the Dash.
Trista: Things can click. As I said, the pieces are there, this team just has to come together and really mesh. You can have tons of great players on a pitch, but if they can't work together and have that chemistry that some other teams have, they will always come up short.
Alicia: The mental mistakes and little errors go away. The Dash have made it a bad habit of giving up last minute goals and ending up with a tie or a loss when they could have had three points. Points that could have gotten them into the playoffs or higher up the standings. Other errors like being offside have also been killer and caused a number of potential goals evaporate.
Fans, what do you think needs to happen for the Dash to be successful this season?