Christen Press Booed in Return to Houston; Utah Royals Top Dash, 2-1

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Christen Press

HOUSTON, TEXAS (Aug. 5, 2018) — Christen Press was never shy about not wanting to continue her professional career in Houston.

She was ridiculed by Houston Dash fans for essentially dissing the city, coaches, and club. Press wanted something bigger and better. To avoid playing with the Dash, who owned her NWSL rights after a massive three-way trade, Press went to Sweden.

Christen Press Booed in Return to Houston; Utah Royals Top Dash, 2-1

Then, during the summer transfer window, Houston gave Press what she wanted: another trade.

This time, she landed in the mountain-filled state of Utah. She signed with Utah Royals FC, helping the club in attempts to make a playoff push.

But, on Sunday, Press returned to Houston to massive amounts of boos from the BBVA Compass Stadium crowd. Ryan McDonald, a journalist for the Deseret News, asked Press about the “welcome” back from the 3,907 Dash fans.

“Of course fans can boo,” Press said. “They’re there to have fun, and if they want to heckle, as long as it’s in a not terrible, disrespectful way, they can heckle all they want. They’re supposed to support their team, so I think it’s all in good fun.”

However, Press got the last laugh, scoring in the 77th minute. The Royals captured victory, with Katie Stengel scoring the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute.

Erika Tymrak assisted the goal. Press’ goal was unassisted.

Meanwhile, Houston did not remain scoreless. In the 41st minute, Veronica Latsko scored her third goal of the season, in which Sofia Huerta assisted.

After the match, Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC head coach, said the victory was “huge.”

“I thought in the first half we played really, really well,” Harvey said. “We caused them a lot of problems in between, we just couldn’t find that final pass and that final finish. Obviously conceding off a set piece is disappointing. In the second half, actually, they made it harder for us to play. I’m just so happy the girls stuck with it and kept working hard.”

“The moment we got the equalizer, there was only one winner.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Latsko still making a name for Rookie of the Year: While all eyes are on Ellie Carpenter of the Portland Thorns FC for Rookie of the Year, my winner is Veronica Latsko. One of the most underrated and consistent players for the Houston Dash, Latsko has given defenses trouble this whole season. It’s clear to see that Vera Pauw’s plan is working for the rookie from the University of Virginia.
  2. Looks like Abby Smith lost her spot: Abby Smith is no longer the starting goalkeeper for the Utah Royals FC. The move isn’t surprising. Laura Harvey did everything to keep her in goal, but eventually, Smith lost the spot to Nicole Barnhart. The veteran goalkeeper has been leading the Royals much better.
  3. Press handled the Dash fans with class: Instead of throwing a fit, Press swallowed her pride and took whatever the Dash fans yelled at her. Press’ answer to the fans heckling was incredibly mature and correct. As long as fans weren’t yelling obscenities or hurtful words, there was nothing wrong with the heckling. Press had to have known it was going to happen, anyway.

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