After a big comeback win on Friday night, the Houston Dash are back home this evening to play host to Kansas City Current in the BBQ Derby at PNC Stadium. The Dash currently sit in third place in the NWSL Challenge Cup Central Division with a win and a loss. Kansas City are in first with a draw against Louisville and a win over Chicago. Can Houston get another three points and move into first place tonight?
With the Dash trailing 2-0 Friday night, Maria Sanchez took the game over. The Mexican international scored the opening goal (the 100th goal in Challenge Cup history) and then set up Marisa Viggiano’s goal with spectacular work on the left wing. If anyone forgot how dynamic Sanchez can be, she showed them in Louisville. Houston will look to its dynamic playmaker to lead the attack tonight once again and produce a few more moments of magic to secure another three points.
With both teams playing their second match in five days, we could see some rotation in the squad and new faces in the starting lineup. Midfielder Makamae Gomera-Stevens played well on Friday after coming on to start the second half, making her a possibility to earn a start tonight. Rookie forward Ryan Gareis and midfielder Elizabeth Eddy have also logged a number of minutes in the first two matches of the Challenge Cup and could get into the eleven this evening. Defender Ally Prisock has returned to the Dash after being on loan in France and is available for selection against Kansas City.
Where does Sophie play?
Defender Julia Ashley made her debut for Houston on Friday, coming on at half time and slotting in to center back. This move allowed Sophie Schmidt to move to her natural position as a holding midfielder. Schmidt had played center back for the first game and a half this season, mostly out of necessity, but having her in the number 6 role is where she excels. With Ashley settling into the team and getting herself up to match speed, we could see her in the starting lineup now with Schmidt moving back to the midfield. If Ashley and Katie Naughton can hold down the central defense, this will be a good move all around for the Dash.
Houston Dash – Out: Emily Ogle (knee); Questionable: Michaela Abam (back)
Kansas City Current – Out: Victoria Pickett (concussion), Lynn Williams (right leg), Sam Mewis (right leg)