Editorial – The Houston Dash are in the eighth spot in the NWSL table after four games and that isn’t a sign of an outright bad team. The Dash is too organized defensively to not be a regular season pushover. The youngsters in the attack are attending the School of Hard Knocks and need to improve.
The Houston Dash Offense Must Be Poised Against North Carolina
North Carolina Courage will travel to South Texas for an early spring encounter. The Courage has Crystal Dunn, Jessica McDonald, and McCall Zerboni in the NWSL top ten in goals. Houston’s center back Amber Brooks leads the league in yellow cards.
Brooks didn’t buckle against a possession-heavy Orlando Pride in the last match for the Dash. Houston’s defense never bent during Orlando’s open play attack. The Pride connected their passes and transitioned to the flanks for crosses inside the box.
Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux had their chances to excite the Pride supporters. Chioma Ubogagu, Marta’s replacement, scored the game-winning goal off a set piece in the 64th minute. Orlando continued to dominate possession looking for another goal.
Houston’s few chances against Orlando 58% ball possession was to counterattack. Attacking midfielders Canadian International Nichelle Prince and South African Linda Motlhalo made attempts to bolt for breakaways.
This led to moments of Houston staying composed in their own half with chances for goals.
Dash Manager Vera Pauw abandoned the 4-3-3 formation she tried at first in 2018 to use the 4-2-3-1. Savannah Jordan was alone up top proving she can take on the role against the Pride. Fullback Kristie Mewis pushed forward. Defensive midfielder Haley Hanson’s purpose is to connect the back four to Motlhalo and Prince.
This attacking concept working. Houston looked more discipline forming an offense at Orlando. The Dash has produced one goal in four games this season.
North Carolina has scored nine goals so far. Houston is solid defensively to withstand a plentiful Courage attack. The Dash offense will be going through weekly trials like a veteran North Carolina defense.
The Houston Dash faithful will have to be content with a good defense. The dirty words of youth and potential will haunt the team. The Dash will always have the potential to gain points, maybe three depending on what the offense does.