The Houston Dash return to action on Sunday with a trip to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Red Stars. Following a lengthy break and a loss their last time out, the women in orange will be gunning for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Kickoff is set for 5:00 PM CT and the match will be shown on Yahoo! Sports.
With only six games remaining on the schedule, the Dash sit on the outside looking in of the playoff picture in seventh place. They do have the advantage of a game in hand over several of the teams higher on the table, however, so positive results from here on out are vital. Midfielder Sofia Huerta echoed that sentiment in the lead up to this weekend’s trip north.
“We’re just really focused on pushing for the playoffs. You know, we had some games where we maybe should have got three points, so now we’ve kind of made the situation a little harder on ourselves...going to Chicago, we know this is a must-win game.”
They may be above Houston in the standings and a single put behind the playoff line, but there is perhaps no better time to catch Chicago. The Red Stars are on the heels of three consecutive losses to the Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC, and the Portland Thorns. They suffered slim 2-1 defeats in those first two encounters before being blanked 3-0 by Portland in their last outing in August.
Sam Kerr leads both her team and the league with a whopping 13 goals - nearly half of the Red Stars’ output through 19 fixtures. Yuki Nagasoto has been the side’s most effective provider with five assists, while also contributing five goals. Rachel Daly remains Houston’s top scorer with five goals to her name.
Sunday’s match is Houston and Chicago’s third and final meeting of the regular season. The Red Stars will be motivated by the prospect of a season sweep, as they edged out the Dash by scores of 2-1 and 1-0 in the two previous encounters.