The Houston Dash travel to central Florida on Sunday to face the Orlando Pride at 3 p.m. CT at Exploria Stadium. Sunday’s game will be the second nationally televised game for the Dash this week and the fourth in the last three weeks.
Houston looks to bounce back after falling 1-0 to OL Reign on Wednesday and enter the match with a 2-5-0 record away from home. Wednesday’s match was the first for defender Abby Dahlkemper with the Dash and she finished with on block and four clearances. Houston will look to capitalize on having a full roster with the return of defender Haley Hanson, who missed Wednesday’s game due to yellow card accumulation.
Sunday’s match is the second meeting of the regular season between both clubs. Goals from Veronica Latsko and Maria Sanchez gave Houston a 2-1 victory at BBVA Stadium on June 26. A victory on Sunday would extend Houston’s current unbeaten run against Orlando to nine games in all competitions.
The Dash return to BBVA Stadium on Friday, Sept. 10 to host the Chicago Red Stars. Both teams have split the previous two encounters with Houston winning the first meeting behind goals from Nichelle Prince and Kristie Mewis.
Here are the three key points ahead of Sunday’s game:
- DASH EXPLORE ROTATIONS: With three games in seven days James Clarkson has found opportunities for players to rotate following the return of six national team players and the addition of defender Abby Dahlkemper. Gabby Seiler was the first player to benefit from the rotation and her 90-minute shift ended with four interceptions and five recoveries on Wednesday against OL Reign. Shea Groom came off the bench on Wednesday and the forward finished with one key pass and three recoveries. Houston will look to Jasmyne Spencer and Houston native Michaela Abam to offer a spark off the bench after logging key minutes during the last few weeks.
- DASH LOOK TO EXTEND UNBEATEN RUN AGAINST ORLANDO: Houston enters Sunday’s game with an eight-game unbeaten run against the Pride that began with a 2-1 victory over Orlando on June 27, 2018. Houston is 7-0-1 against the Pride in this recent unbeaten run and that includes a 2-1 victory earlier this season at BBVA Stadium. Under James Clarkson, the Dash hold a 5-0-1 record against the Pride and Houston look to extend that in the second and final meeting between both teams this season. Orlando’s last victory in the season was a 1-0 triumph on April 22, 2018.
- ORLANDO KEEP PACE UNDER BURLEIGH: Becky Burleigh joined the Pride as an interim head coach on July 25 and enters Sunday’s game with a 2-1-2 record with victories over the Chicago Red Stars and Gotham FC. Orlando opened the season with three victories in their first four games, but head coach Mark Skinner left the team to join Manchester United over the summer. The Pride look to return to the postseason for the second time in franchise history after qualifying in 2017. The Pride lost to the eventual NWSL Champions, the Portland Thorns, in the semifinals.