The Houston Dash are on the road for the second game in a row as they try to bounce back after losing to the Chicago Red Stars in a midweek match up. Their opponent, the Orlando Pride, are also looking to bounce back after a 2-1 road loss to the Portland Thorns. Neither team has won a game this season.
On Wednesday, the Houston Dash lost on the road to the Chicago Red Stars in their first game since March 30. The game was the first loss of the season for the team after they drawn their two previous games. While the team has displayed good moments on the field the team needs to put together a full game of cohesion. Kimberly Keever scored for the Dash in their opening day game and it still stands as their only goal so far this season. The team needs to to figure out how to score if they want to make it to the playoffs for the first time in club history. The backline and goalkeeper Jane Campbell have allowed four goals so far this season.
The Pride have been missing a number of their top players due to international call-ups and have had some injuries to top names. Chioma Ubogagu scored in the 20th minute for the Pride to put them up early against the Thorns. However, the Thorns came back quickly to tie the game and followed it up with a game winning goal before halftime. This isn’t the first time that the club has had a slow start to the season and with the holes that the international call-ups have caused the team can easily turn it around once those players return.
The Pride’s struggling start has them in seventh place in the NWSL while the Houston Dash sit just one spot above them with 2 points. Both teams carry the title of worst goal differential in the league at -3.
While call-ups and injuries have caused trouble for the Pride, the Dash have had a much smaller list of absences. The Dash will only be missing Kyah Simon who is out on international duty playing for Australia. Kelia Ohai has been cleared to play after tearing her ACL last season, but Vera Pauw is taking her time bringing Ohai back onto the field. Pauw has made it clear that she is taking no chances with the striker’s health. The Pride’s injury list has been reduced Camila who is on the 45-DL but their international absence list is long. Marta, Alanna Kennedy, Monica, Poliana, and Emily van Egmond are all gone with their national teams. Missing six of their top players has been a struggle for the Pride but they have plenty of top talent left to start against the Dash.
The Dash are 1-2-0 playing in Orlando and have the chance to leave the stadium with three points. The Sunday afternoon game may be the best chance the Dash have to beat Orlando this season as this game is the first of three times the two will face each other in the 2018 regular season.
Who: Houston Dash vs Orlando Pride
Where: Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
When: Sunday, April 22 at 4:00 pm CT
P.S. It’s 90 Day at Orlando City Stadium.