Ebony Salmon scored her seventh goal of the season and all since arriving in Houston on June 27, 2022. In the space of five games under Juan Carlos Amoros, she has proven the Dash faith in her scoring prowess.
Salmon's emergence allowed the Houston side to more easily honor Rachel Daly's request to return home to her native England. Salmon also a native of England now has seven goals on 15 shots and 11 on target. Following Wednesday's game, she dissected some of the finer points of the gam that is leading to Houston's prolonged success beginning with her goal.
"We have been working on finishing from crosses and one of the things Juan
(Carlos Amoros) said to me after the last game going into this game, I need to stay in the box and be the
person, the target for those crosses. Rather than drifting out wide and for me that was what in my head
this game and I saw that I saw Ryan (Gareis) and Maria (Sanchez) out there and I knew for me, I just had
to get on the end of anything that came in the box. It was just instinct to kind of hit it with my left foot
and I got a little lucky with it bouncing off the keeper going down, but you know luck is a big part of
football. That was on our side today as well as the hard work and the performance that the team put in."
Houston gained a man advantage in the 58th minute of play and Salmon said the Dash learned from Saturday's disappointing draw with Racing Louisville FC where they played up a man for the better part of an hour without scoring.
"From the outside, when a team goes a player down, it kind
of seems like that you should always be on top. Sometimes when the opposition goes a player down, it
can actually be harder because they just sit in, but Gotham was still going for the win. That left a lot of
space for us to exploit. We did that really well."
Salmon, also took the time to talk about the importance of every player on the team. It may be cliche to say next man up but for a winning club like the Houston Dash there isn't always enough playing time to go around so when the coach calls your name it's important to put your best foot forward. Midfielder Marissa Viggiano, according to Salmon did exactly that as she came up with what would be the game winner. Viggiano's performance re-emphasized the importance of soccer being a team sport all about talent and chemistry meshing as one to produce winners.
"We say this every game, how important not just the 11 players
who started the game, but the players that come into the game and the players that don't play at all.
That showed today, Marissa (Viggiano) came in and obviously had a really big impact on the game. In
the end, she got the winning goal. We have to go through the rest of the season knowing that it's
obviously disappointing for the players that don't go out there and start every game. But when the
substitutes come on and can do that, it just shows the importance of the whole thing."
The 21 year old Dash forward concluded her analysis talking about the importance of taking care of business at hand and then looking ahead to the next opponent. In this case, the San Diego Wave FC await on Saturday night. It's another quick turn around plus a long flight to the West Coast. San Diego sits just three points back of Houston and Portland.
"We were disappointed with the last
game and we went into this game, knowing that we needed the three points. That's what we got. We've set ourselves a target as a team that I think we're well on.
We have to go into every game wanting to win. As much as we're in a good place in the table. We can see how tight it is. So, we can't afford to drop points at any game and against Louisville we were disappointed to only get one point from that game. We now have to go into San Diego again push to get the three points."
A win or a draw for Houston puts them in first place all alone for the first time in franchise history this late in a season. A loss creates a three way logjam atop the NWSL standings. Kick-off from Torero Stadium is slated for 9:00pm CT.