Houston's biggest addition of the offseason, Diana Ordonez" feels right at home. Obtained on draft day, Ordonez is Houston's biggest addition ahead of the 2023 season.
Just a week into the preseason, the Prosper, Texas native not only is happy to be in Texas but knows in heart that this is all part of God's plan. Comparing what she said in September in an interview with Sports Spectrum to what she shared on Friday with the media, all shakes out the same.
In her Sports Spectrum interview, she shared the following; "I’m a very religious person and very much trusting God and His plan. I believe that His strength is what helps me every day and it’s just what helped me get to this point to live out my dreams and everything.”
Her first comments to the Houston Media echoed the same thoughts; "Returning to Texas was always a goal of mine. This sport can take you anywhere and a lot of times it's not within your control, so it was something I prayed about for a long time and really wanted to come back home and be closer to my family. So, I'm feeling super blessed and grateful to be here back in my home state."
Ordonez who smashed the NWSL rookie scoring record with 11 goals sees herself playing as a true nine. One goal in 2023 is to be more dangerous in the air especially inside the box.
"I like to think of myself as a true nine. My size plays a lot into my ability to hold up the ball and being a threat in the box -- especially on crosses -- having that height advantage is definitely something
I need to get better at, Where I am most comfortable, is as a true nine, being able to hold up the ball and link with my teammates and getting in the box and just getting on the end of crosses and being there for opportunities, picking up the pieces and trying to get the ball in the back of the net."
With five goals via the header on average from 11 yards out, the outlook that her aerial production can be even better is great news for the Houston Dash. The Dash scored just three of 36 goals last season off the head. Ordonez outscored the entire Houston team in the air. In fact, the 21 year old hit the back of the net using her head then two-thirds of the league's teams. Of the top 20 scorers in the league with five or more goals no one rippled the nets using their head more then Ordonez. The current Houston Dash forward scored 28% of all the goals coming off a header. Houston's scoring threat is only getting better.
Ordonez's desire to be better is nothing new. She graduated her early from high school at 17 and then enrolled for the spring semester at the University of Virginia to prep for the fall season. Following her junior of college, she made the leap from college to the pros without missing a beat. A phenomenal rookie season put her on a lot NWSL radar screens but Houston was the only team willing to bring her home. Houston fans are in for an exciting season head and shoulders literally and figuratively above last season.