The Houston Dash are back at PNC Stadium for a midweek match against NJ/NY Gotham FC. Houston will look to sweep the season series after beating Gotham 4-2 on July 31 at Red Bull Arena. The Dash are coming off a 0-0 draw on Friday night against Racing Louisville. Gotham last played on Sunday, losing 4-1 to OL Reign in Seattle, and have lost their last four matches in league play.
Tonight’s match will be the second for Houston in the span of eight days. They will travel to take on fellow playoff contenders San Diego Wave FC on Saturday night, making a win over Gotham vital in Houston’s playoff push. This will be a quick turnaround for both teams, Gotham more so, but interim head coach Juan Carlos Amorós is looking forward to getting back out on the field. “A quick turnaround, that’s probably what you want after a game where I think we should have won,” Amorós said this week in his press conference. “The preparations have been good, players are competing for positions, we are trying to keep building this new Houston Dash. I’m very excited to be at home again on Wednesday night against Gotham in front of our fans. Hopefully this time we can give them those goals and three points that we deserved last Friday.”
Friday’s draw with Louisville ended Amorós’ 3 match winning streak but kept the Spaniard unbeaten in NWSL. Amorós’ has come to Houston and immediately gotten the Dash playing at a high level, with buy in from the rest of the coaching staff and the players. The Dash players have been effusive of their praise for their new manager since he took over, and Ryan Gareis further echoed that sentiment this week. “I will speak super highly of Juan (Carlos Amoros) anytime,” Gareis told the media this week. “He has come in and been such a difference for our program, it was really cool because the team, we had to go through a lot with all the changes that we went through throughout the season. With him coming in, just giving that stability and bringing that hunger out in everyone. The passion that he has for the game, I think is inspiring to every single player. He invests in us so much and we can see that. When you know that a coach wants you to be the best player you can be, that puts a lot of self-belief in us. He’s so awesome. He’s definitely helped me develop things that I hadn’t worked on before. He identified my strengths, which shows that he definitely did a lot of research and watched us before he came here. All of that, came together and he was able to come in and make an immediate difference. The hunger that he has for winning is contagious, and that has been instilled in all of us now. That’s definitely shown in our past few games that we get out there, we go out there with so much confidence and so much passion and drive, and we just want to win every single game. It’s not only for us now but it’s with him and our staff and the club in general. Like we want to make history for the club and he’s definitely a motivating factor for that.”
New look Gotham
Houston and Gotham FC met just two and a half weeks ago but things are very different for the club from the Big Apple. The team parted ways with head coach Scott Parkinson and brought in interim head coach Hugh Menzies. Menzies brings experience at many levels to Gotham, having coached at the University of Texas and the Jamaican Women’s National Team. Menzies was named CONCACAF Women’s Coach of the Year in 2018 after leading Jamaica to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019. Gotham have an uphill battle to salvage this season, currently sitting in 11th place, and eleven points out of the playoffs. Menzies will look to right the ship in Houston after losing his first match in charge Sunday in Seattle.
Houston Dash - Out: Annika Schmidt (right knee - season-ending injury), Kelcie Hedge (right knee - season-ending injury), Makamae Gomera-Stevens (left knee - season-ending injury), Allysha Chapman (concussion protocol)
NJ/NY Gotham FC – Out: Ashlyn Harris (excused absence), Nahomi Kawasumi (Covid protocol), Ali Krieger (excused absence), Allie Long (maternity leave), Domi Richardson (right knee – season-ending injury)