The Houston Dash return to Shell Energy Stadium to host the Chicago Red Stars for the second match of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup group stage. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 pm CT.
Wednesday’s match will be the second of four 713 Nights this season. 713 Nights, presented by Bud Light, are one of the best values in Houston as fans can purchase $7 tickets, $1 hot dogs and $3 beers. Fans can purchase tickets here.
Wednesday’s match will be the opening game for the Chicago Red Stars in the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup. Chicago enters group play following a 1-1 draw in regular season play against the Washington Spirit. The Red Stars will be without USWNT forward Mallory Swanson after she suffered a knee injury will on international duty. Swanson was a key threat for Chicago in the first meeting between the two teams in the regular season competition on Saturday, April 1.
Houston travels to Seattle to take on OL Reign on Saturday, May 6. This will mark the first time Dash Head Coach Sam Laity returns to Seattle since joining the Dash last December. Laity spent more than 20 years in Seattle and nearly 10 years as an assistant coach for OL Reign. The match will kick off at 9:00 pm CT and will stream on Paramount+.
Here are three key points ahead of Friday’s match:
- BOUNCING BACK: The Dash suffered their first loss of the regular season on Friday, April 28 after inclement weather in the Houston area forced the game to be abandoned in the 52nd minute of the match. The loss marked the first time this season that the Dash had not earned points in a regular season game. Additionally, Houston dropped the opening game of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup against the Kansas City Current on Wednesday, April 19. Regular season matches and 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup games are recorded separately since they are separate competitions.
- NAVIGATING A STRENOUS SCHEDULE: Similar to the opening match of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup, Houston is navigating a tough stretch of matches. Houston played Friday evening against North Carolina in a match that was abandoned due to inclement weather in Houston. After Wednesday’s match Houston will travel to the Pacific Northwest for the second time this season to take on OL Regin. Houston Dash Head Coach Sam Laity will lean on the depth of the roster and could potentially feature some younger faces on the squad.
- CHICAGO’S DIFFERENT ATTACK: With forward Mallory Swanson out due to a knee injury, Chicago has had to look to other players on their roster to take on the goal scoring. In their first game without Swanson, Chicago scored four goals on the Kansas City Current with Penelope Hocking scoring a brace in the win. Hocking, Arin Wright, Ella Stevens, Allison Schlegel, and Bianca St-Georges have all scored for the Red Stars since Swanson has been sidelined.