With two games left in the regular season, the Houston Dash moved another step closer to their first ever playoff berth. Their 1-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars moved Houston to second place in the NWSL.
Ebony Salmon scored the only goal of the match with Chicago continuing to prove that the Houston Dash made the right call when they sent cash to Racing Louisville on June 27th in exchange for the young forward. Fifth on the NWSL goal scoring list since her arrival, Houston has stayed within reach of a playoff berth for the first time in franchise history. None of the four ahead of Salmon in the race for the Golden Boot have scored more goals since she joined the Dash..
“The buildup to the goal is something we've been working on and training for weeks, and I think we're all happy to kind of see that finally pay off and for me," began Salmon describing her goal. "I knew when that flick came from (FW) Maria (Sánchez) and Niche (FW Nichelle Prince) I knew that Niche would be able to find me probably without even looking up and seeing my run. So for me, it was just kind of making that run finding the space having a good first touch and then and then a good finish."
Salmon's ninth goal leaves her two shy of tying Kealia (Ohai) Watt for most all-time in team history. Watt set the record with 11goals in 10 games in 2016. Salmon has nine goals in none games with two to play.
Houston is tied for the most roads in the NWSL in 2022, something that has steered them towards the top of the table. Finding a way to win on the road is difficult at best for even the best teams in the league but Houston seems to have found the answer. Sox the club's recordtying nine wins have come away from PNC Stadium.
" I think we know we're a team now that we believe in ourselves," continued Salmon. "And we know we can go out and beat any team. And I think that's kind of the change of mindset mentality, probably from the start of the season that we really do believe in ourself. And no matter where we go, where we play, who we play, we focus on us and we know that if we do what we're goodat, we can win games.”
The Dash have never finished higher than fifth in any given season and have not had a realistic shot at finishing at the top of the NWSL table since their inception. With two games remaining one home and one away, Salmon left little doubt that the goal now is not just ot make the playoffs but to finish in the top spot. They sit just one point shy of NWSL leading San Diego Wave.
“Yeah, it definitely does. I mean, obviously Houston has never made playoffs," finished Salmon. "So for us finishing top six is the most important thing, but you know, we're right in amongst it so I think what we're pushing for now is to finish at the top of the table.”
Houston would like to clinch their final playoff berth a home on Saturday September 24 against the OL Reign. Kick-off is set for 7:30pm CT.