Houston Dash travel to North Carolina for 2024 NWSL Kickoff


The Houston Dash are gearing up to being its 10th NWSL regular season this weekend as the team travels to Cary, North Carolina to take on the Courage.

Throughout the offseason, Houston has made several changes both on the player and personnel staff. Fran Alonso has been tabbed to lead Houston for its 10th regular-season campaign after a successful run in the Scottish Women’s Premier League with Celtic Women’s FC. Alonso brings energy and passion to the Space City and is awaiting to make his coaching debut in North Carolina.

Forward Yuki Nagasato and Cece Kizer were brought in by Dash General Manager Alex Singer to reinforce the attack after only scoring a league low 16 goals in 2023. Kizer, who will be in her second stint with the club, scored 7 goals last season while with the Kansas City Current. Nagasato a veteran in the game, chose to join Houston as a free agent after five combined seasons with the Chicago Red Stars.

Returning to the Dash is Mexican international María Sánchez who re-signed with the Dash in December. Sánchez inked a three-year deal with the club through 2026, with a mutual option for 2027. Since joining the Dash ahead of the 2022 season, Sánchez has become a foundational piece in the Houston attack, the forward led the team in assists last season and was a co-leader in goals scored.

Reining NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year Jane Campbell is poised to defend her title in goal for the Dash. The Stanford alum led Houston’s back line to one of the lowest goals against average in league history during the 2023 campaign. Campbell returns to the Dash after having spent a large part of preseason training camp away with the United States Women’s National Team for the 2024 W Gold Cup. Campbell and the UWSNT were crowned champions after defeating Brazil 1-0 after being led by former Dash assistant coach Twila Kilgore throughout the tournament.

A few of Houston’s players have strong connections to North Carolina including Mexican international Diana Ordóñez who was drafted by the Courage in the 2022 NWSL Draft. Midfielder Havana Solaun also played for the Courage from 2020 to 2022 before joining Houston.

The Courage enter their regular season home opener against the Dash having finished third in the final regular season standings in 2023. North Carolina added to its roster by acquiring midfielder Ashley Sanchez in a draft night trade with the Washington Spirit. Since being drafted in 2020, Sanchez has scored 17 goals, with none coming from the penalty spot.

Houston will return home next week and host Racing Louisville for the first match of the year at Shell Energy Stadium.