The Houston Dash travel to Chicago for their third game in eight days as they take on the Red Stars tonight. Houston is coming off a 3-0 loss at home to Kansas City Current and will want to get that game erased from the memory as quick as possible. This is the second game between the Dash and Red Stars in the NWSL Challenge Cup this year, Chicago won the opening match for both clubs 3-1 at PNC Stadium.
The Dash picked up their only win of this season’s Challenge Cup in their lone road match so far, a 3-2 win against Racing Louisville. With two losses at home, Houston need another good showing on the road if they want to keep the pace and potentially advance out of their division and in to the next round.
Slowing down Pugh
UWSNT attacker Mallory Pugh is dangerous any time she is on the ball. She showed this in the first meeting between these two teams and she will need to be contained tonight. With Sophie Schmidt likely back in the midfield again, Houston should be able to put in a sound defensive effort. With that being said, Schmidt was in the midfield Wednesday night and the Dash gave up three goals. So....hopefully something changes.
Changing the attack
After being shut out Wednesday night at home, could James Clarkson look to change up the attack in Illinois? Shea Groom could be insterted back in to the starting eleven after being on the bench last time out. Winger Bri Visalli could also be due a start, to bring some bite to the offense. Maria Sanchez will be looking to show well against her former club. The Mexican international is returning to Chicago for the first time since leaving NWSL for Tigres UANL Femenil at the end of the 2019 season.
Houston Dash – Out: Emily Ogle (knee), Paulina Gramaglia (international duty)
Chicago Red Stars – Out: Tierna Davidson (knee), Kealia Watt (knee), Rachel Hill (hip), Sarah Woldmoe (maternity leave), Casey Krueger (maternity leave)