The Houston Dash will go on their final road trip of the group stage of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup this Friday when they take on the Kansas City Current at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT and fans in the United States can watch on Paramount+ and internationally on Twitch.
Friday’s match will be the first match in 12 days following a break for the April FIFA International Window. The Dash are looking to close out the road portion of the 2022 Challenge Cup out with a win and split the series with the Current.
The last time the two teams met, Houston fell to Kansas City 3-0 at home on March 30, the second game of a three-match stretch. Kansas City took an early lead in the second minute after a corner kick from defender Haley Mace connected Taylor Leach in the box. The Current added another goal 26 minutes later and took the 2-0 lead into the half. KCC’s Lo’eau LaBonta scored KCC’s final goal in the 60th minute. The loss marked the first time the Dash were held scoreless in 2022.
Kansas City is coming off a 3-0 loss to Racing Louisville FC in the club’s first home game of the Challenge Cup on April 2. KCC was without USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis for the match against Louisville on April 2 and March 30 against the Dash, with a right leg injury.
Houston will return home on April 24 to close out group play of 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup against Racing Louisville FC. The Dash will host expansion side San Diego Wave FC on May 1 for the regular season home opener at PNC Stadium.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday's match:
- FINAL ROAD GAME OF CHALLENGE CUP: Friday’s match marks the final road game of the 2022 Challenge Cup for the Dash. The Dash are 1-1-0 on the road in the tournament so far through the six-game group stage and look to close out the road slate with a win over Kansas City. Against KC on the road in 2021, the Dash were 1-1-0. The Dash fell 3-0 to KC on Oct. 13 and beat the Current 1-0 on June 6. Dash defender Katie Naughton scored the game-winner in the 79th minute to give Houston a crucial win last June.
- HOUSTON INTERNATIONALS RETRUN FROM DUTY: Seven Houston Dash players were called up for international duty during the April FIFA Window. Maria Sanchez and Mexico earned two key World Cup qualifying victories against Anguilla and Puerto Rico. Rachel Daly and England also earned key World Cup qualifying victories over Macedonia and Northern Ireland. The Dash Canadian trio of Allysha Chapman, Nichelle Prince and Sophie Schmidt helped Canada to two wins over Nigeria and fellow Dash teammate Michelle Alozie in Canada. Forward Paulina Gramaglia will be the only player to remain on international duty with the Argentinian U-20 team who is competing in the Under-20 CONMEBOL Women’s Championship in Chile.
- KANSAS CITY LOOKING FOR FIRST HOME WIN: The Current were the only team in the Central Division of the Challenge Cup to play its first three games on the road. The April 2 match against Racing Louisville was the first game at Children’s Mercy Park, the home of Sporting KC of Major League Soccer. KCC’s home opener was spoiled by Racing Louisville’s three goal victory. Kansas City will be without midfielder Sam Mewis for the third straight game after the 2020 US Soccer Female Player of the Year came out of the March 25 win against Chicago with a right leg injury. Despite the absence of Mewis and Lynn Williams, who suffered a season ending injury in March, KCC’s offense has the ability to create plays and generate 19 shots on goal this tournament. Those chances have yielded 6 goals, which is third highest mark in the league.