The Houston Dash and the Portland Thorns are facing off on Friday night. Both teams are hoping for a win and three points after their game on May 9 ended in a 1-1 draw.
Lindsay Horan scored the lone goal for the Thorns last weekend in their draw against the Red Stars. The goal came just five minutes after Yuki Nagasato’s goal for Chicago. The Dash’s last game was a June 3 draw against the North Carolina Courage. It looked like the Dash would be the first team to defeat NCC this season after a 49th minute goal from Kealia Ohai but the Courage’s Frannie Crouse scored in the 80th minute to tie the game.
Only nine points separate second place from eighth place in the NWSL standings. The Thorns and the Red Stars are tied for fifth place in the NWSL standings with 16 points each. The Houston Dash are right behind them in seventh place with 14 points. A win for the Dash could help push them up in the standings in the currently tight race for a the playoffs. The Dash had a rough start to the season but have come on strong in the last few weeks with only one loss in their last seven games. If the team is able to start walking away with more wins than draws they have a real chance at making the playoffs for the first time in team history.
On Monday, the Dash were once again part of a blockbuster three team trade that saw Taylor Comeau and Sofia Huerta head to the Dash. While the Utah Royals acquired Christen Press’ rights, and Samantha Johnson and the Chicago Red Stars got Brooke Elby, number one overall NWSL College Draft pick in 2019, a first-round draft pick in 2019, along with conditional first and second-round picks in the 2020 draft and the first-round pick in 2021. The Dash also waived Claire Falknor and Alli Murphy. During the international break the Dash also signed Claire Polkinghorn who will be available for Friday’s game.
The moves help strengthen the Dash’s defense which has been weak this year. Cutting down on goals allowed, already 17 this season, will really help improve their results. They have shown they have the ability to score with 13 goals total this season with four goals from Rachel Daly since she was move back up top after starting the season on the defensive line. The addition of Huerta also improves the team’s firepower, she has already scored three goals with Chicago this season.
After holding their own against the league’s top team in the Courage the Dash have shown they have the ability to take on anybody. The Dash and Thorns face off at 7:30 pm CT on Friday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.