Not down and out: Houston Dash crush Washington Spirit, 4-0

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ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 27: Houston Dash defender Rachel Daly (3) during the soccer match between the Orlando Pride and the Houston Dash on June 27, 2018 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando FL. (Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (Aug. 20, 2018) – The Houston Dash are still attempting to do what many thought was the impossible.

Right now, with the NWSL season dwindling down week after week, the Houston Dash are still in contention for a playoff spot. How? A late-season spark that has put the Dash in seventh place with 29 points.

Not down and out: Houston Dash crush Washington Spirit, 4-0

Seventh place out of nine teams doesn’t sound promising, but the top of the table is close together. Right now, the Utah Royals FC, also with 29 points, sit in sixth place.

Fourth place is the cut-off for the playoffs. Currently, the spot is taken by the Chicago Red Stars, who only hold 31 precious points.

Houston has a fighting chance to make the playoffs.

Houston Dash crush Washington Spirit in a 4-0 victory out at BBVA Compass Stadium. Right now, when points are crucial, Houston needed a strong performance. Goals from Kealia Ohai, Sofia Huerta, and Kyah Simon sealed the deal.

After the match, Huerta said the win gives the Dash “hope.”

“We’ve had a lot of opportunities recently in games that we haven’t finished, so I knew eventually — for myself, but also for the team — that we would get a big win sooner or later,” Huerta said. “I’m really proud of the team. A 4-0 win is obviously amazing. Not a lot of teams do that throughout the season.”

“I’m really happy for the team and I hope we keep winning so we can make the playoffs.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Will the Spirit say goodbye to Gabarra? Looking at the NWSL standings, one would be quick to say the win-less Sky Blue FC are the worst team in the league. However, Washington has that title in my book. The team looked flat against Houston. That was a match that Washington could have gotten a draw in — maybe not a win, but certainly a draw. The talent is on the roster, so eyes are turning to head coach Jim Gabarra. If he’s not on the hot seat, then Washington is in trouble for next season already.
  2. Huerta was a big gamble, but she’s paying off: Bringing Sofia Huerta to the Houston Dash so late in the season was a big gamble. Vera Pauw liked what Jill Ellis, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach, keeps ignoring: Huerta is solid up front. She’s a goal-scoring machine and she’s been on fire since coming to Houston. Her numbers down south include four goals and three assists in nine matches.
  3. Houston might just do it: The Utah Royals FC are one of the most inconsistent teams in the NWSL right now. The Royals even came close — dangerously close — to giving Sky Blue FC the club’s first victory of the season this past weekend. With that in mind, I think Vera Pauw and the Houston Dash can best the Orlando Pride — who are also struggling — and Royals for that last spot.

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