Houston Dash

Ebony Salmon and Julia Ashley looking for connections on the Houston Dash pitch

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Jul 1, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Dash defender Julia Ashley (12) and Kansas City Current
Jul 1, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Dash defender Julia Ashley (12) and Kansas City Current / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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The addition of forward Ebony Salmon from Racing Louisville FC last week reunited her with former RL teammate Julia Ashley. Although Salmon did not find the back of the net, everyone is expecting this to produce more opportunities in Orlando this week.

Salmon and Ashley were forces last year in Louisville. Ashley signed with the Dash following the end of the 2021 season. The Verona, New jersey native appeared in 15 games for RL but was seeking more. Thus the move to Houston. Not all has gone quite as expected for the 25 year old bit now with seven players gone for international duty, her moment has arrived.

“I want to do what I can to support the team," Ashley said about her time in Houston. "I have just been working hard and training. I'm very glad that I've got the opportunity recently. I was super excited and ready to go. I felt a lot of support from my teammates around me and they have given me a lot communication on the field. Individually, I just felt like so ready to go. That's how I feel this week and I think we just need to keep on running with that.” 

Salmon, who led Racing Louisville, in scoring last year watched her minutes decline on the pitch under a new coaching staff. Now she has brought her scoring prowess to Houston for a club record transfer fee of no less than $175,000.

Salmon's introduction to Houston soccer was swiftly energizing. With just a couple of trainings under her, the 21 year old found herself in the starting XI along with Ashley. They nearly connected just inside the half hour mark in their first match together as Dash teammates against the Kansas City Current.

"I had time and space on the ball was able to see her," described Ashley, "and then after I played that ball, we talked about it that we needed to keep doing that.”

Salmon is a player who likes to get in behind the line and stretch the defense. The forward has been described as being very clinical in front of the net something Ashley confirmed.

"She can run at back lines and get in behind, over the top, finish, because she is very clinical. We need to support her and put her in the best spot possible in order to score. She's a great threat and we're super excited to have
her."

Expect to see more of that this week as Ashley is one defender always looking to get the ball forward and if she and her teammates can do that Salmon and the forwards can take care of the rest.

"My first instinct is to try to play a ball forward not always over the top, but I want to be able to break lines as a defender," Ashley analyzed. "So we're not just playing right back into pressure. I did feel like we weren't stretching them (Kansas City) and we weren't threatening in behind."

Houston kicks off against Orlando Friday July 8th at 6:00pm.

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