The Houston Dash have a long history having talent that shows up well at the international level. The year 2022 will be no different beginning with the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup. This international football events pits four of the world’s best teams against each other in a round robin tournament. The Houston Dash will have four players participating in the opening match as the call-ups were officially announced during the past week. Houston forward Rachel Daly got the call from England while Canada called in forward Nichelle Prince, midfielder Sophie Schmidt and defender Allysha Chapman. Nothing new about this quartet getting the nod from their respective countries.
The Arnold Clark Cup kicks off on February 17th with an afternoon match between Germany and Spain. England and Canada ladened with Houston Dash players will meet in the primetime game later that evening.
Having players on both teams will make for a very interesting match. Daly for the Lionesses is a prolific goal scorer who often times finds a way to will her team to victory. Daly has turned her career with the Dash into a regular call-up with the English side. One week from today, the forward will be working to get free of her NWSL teammates defender Allysha Chapman and midfielder Sophie Schmidt. England and Daly against Chapman and Schmidt of Canada will be must see televison.
Chapman has been a lockdown defender for the Dash and Team Canada. For years she has seen players come and go yet she remains. Her tight marking and in your face defense will have Daly considering trying the other side of the line. No one is better at moving an offensive player into the sideline without any room for error than Chapman.
Midfielder Sophie Schmidt will be the first obstacle for Daly to get by. Schmidt and the Team Canada are out to prove that winning gold at last year’s Olympics was no fluke. With Sinclair, they are the elder stateswomen proving Canada has the right mix of youth and veterans. Her uncanny ability to connect passes will have Daly and the Lionesses chasing the ball more than they wish.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Canadiens have a plethora of offensive warriors none more dynamic with or without the ball in Nichelle Prince. Just entering her prime at 26, head coach Bev Priestman describes the young forward as “a nightmare.” Her ability to get into space and stretch the field often becomes a catastrophic calamity for opposing defenses. Prince has the ability to change the game on a dime.
The Houston Dash quartet displaying their wares on one the biggest international soccer stages speaks volumes about how far the program has come. With these four continuing to grow and produce, the Houston Dash are in for a momentous season once they return.