After back-to-back games on the road, the Houston Dash return home to BBVA Compass Stadium to host NWSL's newest expansion team the Orlando Pride on Friday evening.
Houston and Orlando have already met once this season in Florida where the Dash suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of Alex Morgan and the Pride. Orlando hopes to make their two-game winning streak three as they head to Houston. The team's back line have been stable. Spearheaded by U.S. international goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and her backline of Laura Alleway, Josee Belanger, Steph Catley, and Kristen Edmonds, the defense has not allowed a goal in the last 215 minutes. In four of the five games the new team has had this season, the Pride's defense have kept opponents under two goals. The Dash will have their work cut off for them getting past the backline and scoring.
On the other end of the pitch, Houston's backline will have to keep USMNT international forward Alex Morgan at bay. She only has scored twice this year so far, but as USWNT fans know well, her speed can be dangerous against defensive lines. Her first goal of 2016 came against Houston in week 2. Look for midfielder Lianne Sanderson to be trouble for the Dash on their home turf as well.
Last week against the Washington Spirit, the Dash was able to keep their opponents to one goal, but were unable to notch a goal themselves. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams had three saves in last week's match up in the second half. She has not allowed more than one goal in four of the five games Houston has had this season; she'll be defending that current streak on home turf, where the Dash are so far undefeated this season.
On the offense for Houston, watch for midfielders Morgan Brian and Andressa to continue to try to assert themselves. If they can click with each other, or better yet forwards Kealia Ohai or Rachel Daly, the Dash could find the back of the net.
The two teams will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CDT. The game will be broadcast live on HoustonDashSoccer.com/Live. If you happen to miss the match live, it also will be available on a tape-delayed basis on ROOT Sports Southwest Monday, May 23 at 8 p.m. CDT.