Ellen Braden has seen the Dash evolve from the first expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League to the team pushing to make its second consecutive playoff appearance. Her fondest memory so far with the Dash is being able to witness the first goal scored in team history by Ella Masar on May 23, 2014 against the Chicago Red Stars.
Braden, who has lived in the Houston area for almost 40 years, has always been a staunch supporter of women’s sports. For Braden, the NWSL and the Houston Dash provide a space and platform for women achieve their dream and give young women something to aspire for.
With 2023 being a World Cup year, Braden says she is looking forward to supporting players from the Dash who are expected to represent their country at the highest level, including Dash captain Sophie Schmidt who is expected to join the Canada Women’s National Team in New Zealand.
Although she has a hard time choosing, Braden admits that Schmidt is one over her favorite players on this season’s roster. Schmidt’s “never back down” attitude and relentless are major factors in wanting to support the Canadian.
Braden is also looking forward to taking in as much Women’s Soccer as possible during the World Cup window and will be following several teams to see how they fare. She will be rooting on the United States Women’s National Team in hopes of seeing the stars and stripes lift third world cup trophy in a row. She wonders if England will be able translate the momentum from winning the Euros last summer. Will the host nations of New Zealand and Australia take advantage of playing at home? Will they go far? She doesn’t know, she’ll be watching. Braden says she’s been impressed by Jamaica during the qualifying stages and hopes they can cause some havoc. Finally will the French Women’s National Team, who has a new coach, be able to get past their recent struggles? She hopes so.
During half time of this weekend’s Houston Dash match against the Orlando Pride, Ellen Braden will be honored as the SeatGeek Member of the Match.