web_061222_PREVIEW_DSHvPOR_16x9

The Houston Dash return home to host the Portland Thorns for Houston’s annual Pride Night at PNC Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT and fans interested in attending the match can find more information at HoustonDash.com.  

Sunday’s match marks the second time in less than a month that the two teams will face each other. The last meeting between the Dash and Thorns tilted in favor of Houston. Forward Rachel Daly opened the scoring in first half stoppage time to give Houston the lead heading into the half. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt extended the lead after scoring her first goal of the season in the 66th minute. The Dash earned its fifth win all-time over Portland and extended its unbeaten streak against the Thorns in back-to-back games.

The Dash are currently on their longest unbeaten streak in club history following a 0-0 with Angel City FC on Tuesday night. Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell made back-to-back saves in the 67th minute to earn her 20th career regular season shutout and the fourth regular season. Houston’s defense has given up three goals across eight games and has the lowest goals against average in the league at 0.43.

Portland is coming off a 2-2 draw with San Diego Wave FC on Wednesday night. The Thorns jumped out to a 2-0 lead after forward Christine Sinclair extended the Portland lead seconds into the second half. However, the Wave were able to score two unanswered goals within eight minutes of one another late in the second half to steal a point back from the visiting Thorns. Sunday’s match will be the second consecutive road game for Portland who is in fourth place with a 4-2-1 record.

Here are three key points ahead of Sunday's match:

  1. DASH NAVIGATE DALY ON INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Houston’s captain and forward Rachel Daly joined the England Women’s National Team following Houston’s 5-0 win over Orlando on June 3 as the team prepares for the UEFA Women’s European Championship, which will be held in England this summer. Daly is tied for most goals scored on the Dash and in the NWSL alongside teammate Nichlle Prince. With goals being scored by 10 different players across all competitions so far in 2022 the Dash have several options who can help fill in Daly’s place while she is on international duty.
  2. DOMINANT DEFENSE: The Dash are the only team in the league to allow less than five goals so far this season. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell and the Dash back line of Ally Prisock, Katie Naughton, Haley Hanson and Allysha Chapman have become the hardest defense to score against, a stark contrast to Challenge Cup play where the defense allowed the second most goals in the tournament. Campbell credited the addition of goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson as one of the key pieces responsible for the defensive turnaround: “Kudos to the staff and our goalkeeper coach Matt (Lampson). He's really just honed in on excellence and a standard that we need to be better. The staff has done the same across the board.”
  3. PORTLAND’S STAR POWER: The two-time NWSL champion Thorns have several key playmakers on its attack that can score. Forward Sophia Smith, who scored a penalty kick in Portland’s 2-2 draw against San Diego on Wednesday night, has scored four goals and is tied for second alongside Houston’s Nichelle Prince and Rachel Daly. Canadian forward Christine Sinclair, who also scored in Portland’s midweek game, has 43 career NWSL goals, including four this season. The Dash backline will also have to contain Janine Beckie, who returns to the NWSL after four seasons in England with Manchester City. Beckie began her professional career in Houston in 2016 following her college career at Texas Tech University.