Dash interim head coach Juan Carlos Amorós
(on the team's preparations for tomorrow's match) "Everything is going really well. We got here last night so I think that definitely helps, and to be fair, the atmosphere is fantastic. We have some some of the internationals back. Obviously we are still missing Rachel (Daly), but the rest of them are here. The week of of work has been great. And now the team is ready to compete tomorrow and hopefully get those three points."
(on how he is navigating his first road trip) "We are still in the adaptation period. It is important for me to see how we do things away from home. Obviously, it's a long journey. We had a long flight and you know the logistics of everything. But so far, so good. The players know the roles, the atmosphere, I say it's good. And Sarah (Lowdon) obviously is guiding me through sort of the challenges that happen when you're away and the captains are making sure that the players are all pushing in the right direction. We have regular conversations about almost every aspect that can influence our performances and so far, I can only say that they've been brilliant."
(on if there are any updates to the availability report) "Well, fortunately, not because every player from international duty they returned well. We have some niggles like always happens when you work with a group of 25 players, 26 players. So at the moment, everyone is available and ready to go for tomorrow.
(on reintegrating international players back to the team) "Realistically, they have to enter that training. I said that from from day one. That's part of our values, like they have to engage. But we will have to wait and make the final decisions tomorrow because, as you said, some of the of the players that maybe weren't that regular, they really performed fantastically in the last game. They've done really well at training. And the same with the international players that just came back. They really can bring a lot to the team. So it will be a difficult choice and one that really is my responsibility to make. So I will do what I think is best for the team to be ready to compete, not only at the beginning of the game, which is where everyone talks about lineups where you have to compete throughout 90 minutes. Now we have five subs, so I really want to have a team that is very competitive in every position so I've got more tools to be able to do that.
(on how his tactics change based on the players returning) "Well, I think as I mentioned before, we want to have some clear football principles that they don't change that much depending on the tactic, they will be always recognizable. So I think we could see in the last game how we want to be an aggressive team on the counter press, how we want to impose our style of play and then dominate games, offensive, defensively, on set pieces. And then, it is always different. You might have a tactic base but it's not the same depending on the player that performs on that position. If it's an inverted winger, the profile of the midfield that you're playing does things one way or another because I think that the plays are the main characters. They are the ones that that play the game and the way they do it. I try to help them to make those decisions combined with each other but they have to make those decisions. So I think it will be interesting to see how we perform tomorrow at the beginning of the game and also at the end.
(on the biggest way NJ/NY Gotham can threaten the Dash) I think they obviously play at home very intense. They got players coming back from international duty, so it will be a question of imposing and controlling those players and making sure that we worry about what we have to do and they are the ones that are on the backfoot trying to deal with us more than us dealing with them. Obviously they play at home, they come from maybe not the best run of games in the last few, so it will be it will be a battle in New York tomorrow. So we hope to come up on top.
(on Rachel Daly playing in the Euro Final tomorrow)"Well, yeah, we are in regular communication obviously with Rachel(Daly). We leaveher in her own space because it's some of the most important days in not only her career about also, as I was part of England for such a long time, I know how much effort there has been behind the scenes to make sure that tournament was a success. And now we are one way at one day away from the finals so we just want to wish herall the best. And obviously, we hope that tomorrow that game against Germany, finally England comes on top. So the communication has been fantastic. And Sarah and ebony, are focused in New York more than in England, but at the same time, it's obviously an important day for them. So we hope that tomorrow by the time we play
they're a bit happier with that trophy.
(on if he will watch the game) "Yeah, I think I think we should have time. There's some meetings around it. So I think we will have the chance to watch the game together. I think it's in the morning for us. So yeah."
Houston Dash MF Sophie Schmidt
(on returning from international duty) "It's great to be back with the Dash and back in Houston. We're on the road but what's exciting, I know thatall the internationals follow the games while we were away, and we're all very excited and happy for the team for that last performance, that huge win and to have Juan in with the team to kind of experience that this week has been full on in a lot of ways. Taking on a lot of information and you know, kind of getting comfortable and knowing the standards that he wants to set for the team. So there's been a lot a lot of new learnings but at the same time it's been phenomenal to get back into this environmentand we're looking forward to tomorrow."
(on the addition of Ebony Salmon to the Dash) "Yeah, I mean, I don't know her very well. I'm excited to get to know her better off the field. But from what I've seen on the field, she's provided some fresh energy to this team, especially up top. She's so quick and so clinical in front of net, as we saw last game. I think it'll provide and also give other teams a different element to deal with when they play the Dash. And I think that we're very excited to use her strengths to our benefit.
(on what she expects from NJ/NY Gotham) "Being on the road is always more difficult than playing at home. There's different factors that you have to consider. But at the same time, we have expectations of these next two games. We know that Gotham is going to be you know fighting hard to get some points. They've been struggling for a bit. So we know it's going to be a very tough game. And we're ready for that. And then Seattle or Tacoma next weekend. But we're really just focusing one game at a time, trying to get the most out of ourselves and the points on the road that we can get.
(on reintegrating into the team) "Yeah, it was a great tournament for us. It's hard to be away for the extended period of time that we were but we're excited to be back in the club environment. And for integrating with Juan, yeah, it's been a huge serving learning curve. Last couple of days, we're just kind of thrown into the fire right away. The team had a bit of a head start and kind of learning his system, his principles, philosophies, tactics, and things like that. But I think we're getting there. The team's on a good way. And I think we're just looking to build off of last weekend's performance and kind of keep instilling all the principles and new ideas that he's bringing to the team. But you know, he's super excited that he's finally here. It kind of was a long build up and anticipation and we're glad that it's finally happening.
(on navigating being on the road with a new coach) "Well, it's great, I find that you know, that we have just phenomenal people on this team and it makes traveling and doing away games, easy, for the most part, as easy as it can be. So I think our mentality as a club is just trying to get as many points as we can away from home, keep that shut out and give ourselves the best opportunity to win. And I know that the girls are very professional and diligent in terms of making sure that we set ourselves up for success, especially when we're on the road. And we have two games coming up. So it's going to be even more important."
(on preparing to play Gotham specifically) "I think the biggest thing is not underestimating them knowing that because they're in the situation that they are that they're going to come out even harder and it's going to be even more of a challenge for us and we're going to have to, you know, even be at our best to get what we want out of the game.
(on playing against former Dash player Kristie Mewis) "Yeah, I mean, I had a great relationship with Kristie (Mewis). I loved playing with her as a teammate. But now she's on the other team. You kind of know her strengths and weaknesses. So you're like, 'okay, like, how do we deal with that, and negate her strengths and kind of exploit the weaknesses.' And so I think it's exciting. It adds a different element to the game when you know, a player and when there's history there with the club as well, because I know that she'll want to show up and do well. And I think for us, it's important to just go out and play as a team. And, yeah, I don't know, it's exciting. It's just another element to the game that makes it more fun.
(on how focused the team is on the playoffs at this point in the season) "Yeah, that's our focus is to make playoffs and we know that we're in a good position. But we also know that one or two games can change everything in this this league at the moment. It's so tight, it's so close and so we know that every point counts, every game matters. And that's kind of our outlook, is like we have as a team, as players focused on this next game. And I think as a coaching staff, their focus is, especially this next month, making sure that we get the points that we need to put ourselves in that position to make playoffs.
(on the most important qualities needed to make the playoffs) "It's a combination, but I think always the clear one is keeping a shutout. If we can keep shutouts, we give ourselves the best chance to win. And then you know, at minimum we get one point out of all the games and then I think we're strong enough going forward that we're going to give ourselves a lot of chances to score some goals and be successful."