web_050122_PREVIEW_HOUvSD_16x9

The Houston Dash will host San Diego Wave FC for the first time in club history at PNC Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT, fans interested in attending the regular season home opener can click here to purchase tickets.

Sunday’s match will mark the first-time meeting between both clubs. The Wave begin their inaugural season this weekend after entering as the 12th team in the National Women’s Soccer League this past offseason.

Houston closed out the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup with a 2-1 victory over Racing Louisville FC on April 24 at PNC Stadium. The Dash took the lead after forward Nichelle Prince dispossessed a Louisville defender at the top of the 18-yard box and scored after dribbling past a defender in the 24th minute. Racing’s Jaelin Howell, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft, scored the equalizer in the 29th minute. The Dash took the lead following a set piece from forward Maria Sanchez in the 35th minute. The Mexican international found defender Ally Prisock inside the box for her first professional goal.

San Diego is coming off a 1-1 draw on the road against OL Reign. San Diego finished in third place out west in the Challenge Cup with a 1-3-2 record in group play. San Diego features several notable players including former Dash defender Abby Dahlkemper, who is joined by her USWNT teammate Alex Morgan. Morgan joined the Wave from Orlando as the second player on the roster. Throughout Challenge Cup play, Morgan scored four goals, tied for second most in the tournament, and led the team and league in shots.

The Dash will travel to take on the Kansas City Current in the club’s first road trip of the regular season next weekend. Kickoff is slated for 4:00 p.m. CT at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

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

  1. REGULAR SEASON REVAMP: With Challenge Cup play completed the Dash are now focusing on the road to the postseason which begins May 1 against San Diego. With the 2-1 over Louisville to close out the Challenge Cup the Dash are looking to carry over the momentum into the regular season.
  2. PLAYER CHEMISTRY GROWING: The Dash added several new players this offseason. Most notably forward Maria Sanchez and midfielder Marisa Viggiano who played in every match of the Challenge Cup. Sanchez has played a key role in the Houston attack, scoring a goal as well as three assists in the Challenge Cup. Viggiano also scored in Houston’s 3-2 come from behind win over Racing Louisville FC on March 25.
  3. SAN DIEGO’S FIRST TRIP TO HOUSTON: The Wave will play its first ever NWSL regular season match on Sunday. The Wave entered league play this year, alongside Angel City FC as the first NWSL teams in California. The San Diego organization features several leaders across the organization with years of international experience. Wave general manager Jill Ellis was most recently the USWNT head coach and won the 2019 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. San Diego head coach Casey Stoney led Manchester United as its manager from 2018 to 2021 and played several years both at the domestic and international level in England. The Wave have eight players on its roster representing six different international federations.