Saturday, June 22, 2024

NWSL Preview: Houston Dash (4-6-8) at Racing Louisville FC (5-4-9)

Lynn Family Stadium | Louisville, Kentucky – Friday, September 15 at 7:30 PM ET

Players to watch:

Racing Louisville won its last league match, 2-1, against Portland on September 3 behind goals from defender Abby Erceg and forward Thembi Kgatlana with both players having scored their second goal each on the season. A stalwart in defense for Racing, Erceg leads the team in multiple categories including clearances (70), blocks (27), and interceptions (29).

After seeing the departure of forward Ebony Salmon, the Dash attack will primarily feature a trio of attackers María Sánchez, Diana Ordóñez, and Michelle Alozie, all of whom are the only players on the Houston roster this season to have scored more than a goal, including Salmon. In total, Sánchez leads the team in all of the goals (4), assists (2), and goal contributions (2) departments, while also leading the way in crosses attempted (100) and dribbles attempted (46).

Match facts: With just four regular season contests remaining, Racing Louisville FC hosts the Houston Dash at Lynn Family Stadium with Louisville aiming to edge closer to a playoff position while the Dash are looking to keep a thread of playoff hopes alive with a positive result. Racing sits in 7th place with 24 points from 18 games played, while the Dash sit in 10th place with 20 points from 18 games played.

Racing Louisville hasn’t lost any of its last seven home matches in all competitions since June (W5 D2), surpassing the team’s prior record of six home matches without a loss (W4 D2, September 2022 to May 2023). However, Louisville lost its last match, 2-0, in the Challenge Cup Final, allowing the Courage to put 11 of their 14 shots on target. The 78.6 percent shooting accuracy allowed to North Carolina was the highest opposing shooting accuracy in a match in Louisville team history, and the highest in any NWSL Final in all competitions.

The Dash, meanwhile, have failed to score more than one goal in their last 12 matches in all competitions. It is the longest run of matches in Houston team history without a multi-goal game, ahead of a run of eight straight from July to August in 2014. Houston have also allowed a league-low 15 goals through 18 regular season in matches in 2023, though. Only four teams in league history have allowed fewer goals at this stage of a season, most recently North Carolina (10) and Portland (11) in 2021.

In all competitions, Houston have been successful against Racing Louisville, winning five games in the matchup to Louisville’s two (D3). However, the matchup is split evenly when Louisville host Houston, as both teams have two wins (D1), including a 3-0 win for Racing in its last home game in the matchup.

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