The Houston Dash open the 2023 NWSL season on Sunday under the direction of head coach Sam Laity. They host a Racing Louisville FC squad that is looking to turn the corner after finishing in ninth place for the second consecutive season.
The Dash finished the 2022 campaign with a 10-6-6 (WLD) record and qualified for the postseason for the first time in team history. The squad earned the bulk of their points on the road and finished with a 7-2-2 mark away from the Bayou City. The team will open with three of their first four regular season games on the road and return to Shell Energy Stadium on April 19 to host the Kansas City Current in the first Challenge Cup match of the year.
Houston will look to capitalize on the time they have with players eligible to compete at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. That list includes veteran defender Allysha Chapman, forward Nichelle Prince, 2022 team MVP Sophie Schmidt and forward Ebony Salmon, who won the team’s Golden Boot after scoring nine goals last season.
Defensively, the Dash backline will feature goalkeeper Jane Campbell, one of three players in team history to reach 100 regular season games with the Dash. The shot stopper was named the team Defender of the Year in 2022, her sixth team award since being drafted by the Dash in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. Katie Lind and Ally Prisock will also play a key role in the backline this campaign. The center back duo started every game for the team in 2022 and look improve on one of the best defensive marks for the team in regular season play.
Louisville added NWSL veteran and former NWSL Defender of the Year Abby Erceg over the offseason in a bid to retool their backline. Racing conceded the third most goals in 2022 with 35 and finished with a negative 12 goal differential. Carson Pickett was also added to the roster, which features goalkeeper Katie Lund, one of the more consistent players for the lavender and mint in 2022.
The Dash open a two-game road trip next Saturday, April 1 in Bridgeview, Illinois against the Chicago Red Stars. The team closes the road trip on Friday, April 14 against the Portland Thorns.