Saturday, September 24, 2022

THREE POINTS Houston host Kansas City Current prior to weekend road trip

NEED TO KNOW:     

·       Houston hosts Kansas City on Wednesday evening at PNC Stadium in the first midweek match of 2022 

·       Houston is looking to build off their 3-2 win over Racing Louisville FC last Friday  

·       U.S. WNT player Sam Mewis will make first trip to Houston as a member of Kansas City 

HOUSTON – The Houston Dash return to PNC Stadium on Wednesday evening to host the Kansas City Current. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT and the Dash are looking to build off their comeback victory over Racing Louisville FC last Friday in Kentucky.

Wednesday’s match is the second match in five days for both squads and the third match of group play in the central division. Houston is coming off one of the biggest victories in club history after the Dash mounted a comeback in Kentucky on Friday night. Down two goals heading into the second half, Houston forward María Sánchez scored the first Dash goal of the night in the 56th minute. Sánchez then set up midfielder Marisa Viggiano for the equalizer just two minutes later. In the 65th minute, Houston was awarded a penalty kick following a hand ball in the box. Dash co-captain Rachel Daly converted for the game winner and gave Houston their first three points of 2022.  

Houston defender Julia Ashley made her Dash debut on Friday night against her former club. Ashley, who was acquired via trade from Racing Louisville FC on Dec. 17, came on in the 46th minute following an adjustment from head coach James Clarkson.  

Sánchez’s goal was the 100th goal scored in the Challege Cup since the tournament first began in 2020. With the converted penalty kick, Daly became the leading Challenge Cup scorer of all-time after breaking a three-way tie with Dash teammate Shea Groom and North Carolina’s Debinha. Additionally, Daly is the only NWSL player who has taken a minimum of three penalty kicks, to have a 100 percent conversion rate from the spot across all competitions. 

Kansas City is also coming off a win over Chicago on the road in the Windy City. Kansas City scored the equalizer in the 58th minute after Chicago took the early 1-0 lead in the first half. In the closing minutes of regulation Kansas City once again found the back of the net to take the 2-1 victory over Chicago and earn three points on the road.  

Kansas City had a busy offseason that included acquiring midfielder Samantha Mewis and forward Lynn Williams from the North Carolina Courage. Kansas City also added Matt Potter as the new head coach of the club. Potter previously served as an assistant coach for the United States Women’s National Team and the head coach of U-23 USWNT.  

Houston will head back on the road to take on Chicago on April 2 at Toyota Park. The Dash will be back in action on April 15 as they travel to Kansas City.  

WHO:          Houston Dash vs. Kansas City Current  
WHEN:          Wednesday, March 30 – 7:30 p.m. CT          
WHERE: PNC Stadium, Houston, Texas 
STREAMING:          Paramount+/Twitch (International)  

Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s match:  

1.       NEW FACES SPARKING OFFENSE: In Friday’s comeback victory over Louisville, some of Houston’s newest faces made a big impact in securing three points. At the half, Dash head coach James Clarkson made several changes to help swing the momentum in favor of Houston. Defender Julia Ashley was one of those halftime subs and made her Dash debut against her former club. Forward Maria Sanchez sparked the offensive by scoring the first Dash goal on the road this year. A few minutes later, Sanchez was credited with the assist on midfielder Marisa Viggiano’s game-tying goal. Viggiano was acquired via trade with Orlando just before the start of preseason and has started the last two games in midfield.  

2.       DEPTH IS CRUCIAL: Houston’s midweek match against Kansas City will be the second of three matches in an eight-day span. The Dash will travel to for a rematch with Chicago on Saturday. Come Sunday, the Dash would have traveled 4,068 miles in a span of eight days. With a tough travel schedule, Houston will have to rely on its bench to help ease the burden of travel. Players like Elizabeth Eddy, who has come off the bench in the last two matches, and Ryan Gareis, the rookie forward, who has played significant minutes the last two matches. Second year midfielder Makamae Gomera-Stevens also played a key role in Friday’s victory in Kentucky after she was subbed on to start the second half. 

3.       KANSAS CITY CURRENT: Like the first two teams the Dash have faced in Challenge Cup group play so far, the Current made several offseason moves. USWNT midfielder Samantha Mewis was acquired by the Current during the offseason a few weeks later the added USWNT forward Lynn Williams. Unfortunately, Williams is out for the remainder of 2022 after suffering an injury in the opening game of the Challenge Cup. Mewis helped Kansas City secure the clubs first ever road win in franchise history last Friday in Chicago. 

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