The Houston Dash spent just four days under new interim head coach Juan Carlos Amoros before taking the pitch Saturday night against Chicago. Over those few days the message was clear, wins aside he expected energy, attitude and effort. On Saturday, his team gave him all three and the win.
Coaching success is tied to motivation and execution. The Houston Dash over the first part of the 2022 season have been one of the best teams in the NWSL despite the coaching changes. Technically, they are now on their third head coach in the first three months of the season. Fortunately, for the last month former interim head coach Sarah Lowdon was working to make the transition to Amoros as seamless as possible.
Playing once again without five of their top players gone for international duty and two in COVID 19 protocols, it was hit and miss as to how they would rebound from two straight losses. From the opening whistle, it was evident that Amoros' message had gotten through.
Midfielder Bri Visali described the week as "a fresh start, a new beginning." Visali was not in the starting XI on Saturday, but her teammates took her tenacious style of play to the pitch with them. They played like the ball and the pitch belonged to them and it did. Tough tackles, diagonal runs into space with perfectly executed passes and no uncontested 50-50 balls.
As his team goes into the break, Amoros was pleased with the team's effort. “We want to be a dynamic team every day and we did that today,” Amorós said. “I’m not surprised. We had an excellent game plan and we stayed with the game plan. The team was outstanding in a week of work and it reflected that.”
The Houston Dash return to action on July 31st with a road match against Gotham FC. Kick-off at Red Bull Arena is slated for 4:00pm CT.