The Houston Dash host Racing Louisville FC on Friday night at PNC Stadium. The two meet for the fourth time in 2022 and the Houston Dash are unbeaten in all three meetings. Friday night could be number. Here is what Houston must do to win.
First, and this may sound simple but Houston must continue to find the back of the net. Seven times in 2022, Houston has scored multiple goals and seven times they have walked away victorious. Former Racing Louisville forward Ebony Salmon faces her old team since being traded just over a month ago to Houston. The current Dash forward has scored in three straight games and has six goals in five games. Together with Nichelle Prince, they are a dual threat to stretch defenses and score goals. They have accounted for 11 of the team's 24 goals this season.
Second, the defense must play up to its potential for the full 90. Houston has allowed a goal or less in nine matches in 2022 securing a record of 3-3-3. At home, they have allowed multiple goals twice and lost both games. They cannot afford to chase a game against a team that has won just two games all season and has scored a goal or less in five straight matches.
"They got draws almost against everyone. Maybe they are not winning a lot of games, but at the same time, they're not losing a lot of games," said Dash head coach Juan Carlos Amoros at Thursday's news conference. "So that gives you the sign of a very competitive team, especially when they've been playing against these top teams. It's a game that you really, really can't give nothing for granted and if you do then you will get punished. So that's why it's so important that we are able to perform throughout the 90 minutes and that we start the gameconnected and ready from the from the start."
Third, the team cannot overlook anyone at this point in the season. With eight games remaining, Houston is in a position to win their first league title if they can hold it together. Of the games left, they face San Diego, Chicago, OL Reign and Angel City all of whom have an opportunity to wrest away Houston's playoff dreams if given the chance. It's why they cannot look past Racing Louisville. The Dash must come out from the opening whistle and play like their playoff hopes depend on it because in the end, they just might.
"We just have to stay focused and get the job done,” summed up Dash forward Nichelle Prince.