The Houston Dash close a two-game homestand on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. against NJ/NY Gotham FC. The visitors enter with the second-best record in the NWSL and this is the first meeting between both sides since the opening game of the season, a 1-0 victory for Gotham at Red Bull Arena.

Houston looks to bounce back after dropping the first game of the homestand to the Portland Thorns last Saturday. Houston was held scoreless for the first time in five games and fell at home for the first time this season. Shea Groom led the offensive charge and finished with two key passes. Defensively, Jamia Fields made her debut as an outside back and led the team in tackles with five and finished with four recoveries. The Dash will look for additional contributions on Sunday as the team navigates the absence of six players due to the Olympic Games. 

Midge Purce scored the game-winning goal in the first meeting between both clubs in May. The 25-year-old leads Gotham with four goals and one assist this season. Houston will look to contain Purce and service from outside back Caprice Dydasco, who leads the NWSL with three assists.   

The Dash will travel West next weekend to face Sofia Huerta, Amber Brooks and OL Reign in Tacoma, Washington. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT and fans can stream the match live on Paramount+ or internationally on Twitch. 

Here are the three key points ahead of Sunday’s game:

  1. DASH OFFENSE LOOKS TO RESPOND: Houston was held scoreless for the third time this season last Saturday against the Thorns. The Dash have responded in the two previous occasions with four goals in the games that followed a scoreless effort. Houston was held scoreless in the 1-0 loss to Gotham on May 15 and responded with two goals against Kansas City NWSL on May 23. Houston was last held scoreless on June 20 in a 1-0 loss to Racing Louisville and responded with a 2-1 victory over the Orlando Pride on June 26. Houston will look to Veronica Latsko and Shea Groom to replicate that form on Sunday at BBVA Stadium.
  2. POINTS AT BBVA STADIUM KEY FOR CLARKSON AND DASH: Dash head coach emphasized the importance of Houston’s record at BBVA Stadium on Friday at his weekly media availability. Following Saturday’s loss at home to Portland the Dash fell to sixth place. The Dash can quickly climb up the table and currently sit one point from the fourth spot for the postseason. Clarkson highlighted Houston’s form at home due to the team’s history at BBVA Stadium. The Dash have only finished with a winning record at home once, that came in 2018 under Vera Pauw. The Dash finished with a 5-3-4 record at home and set a new record for games won at BBVA Stadium. Clarkson looks to surpass that bar this season and lead the Dash to the postseason for the first time in team history. Sunday’s game will be key for Clarkson and the Dash who enter with a 3-1-1 record at BBVA Stadium. 
  3. GOTHAM BACKLINE KEY TO TURNAROUND: Gotham enter Sunday’s game unbeaten on the road with a 2-0-3 record and have only lost one game this season. The Gotham backline has been key to this turnaround after the club finished in eighth place in 2019. The remarkable turnaround begins in goal with two goalkeepers combining for five clean sheets this season. Kailen Sheridan is the undisputed starter and tallied 27 saves and three clean sheets this season before joining Canada at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. NWSL veteran DiDi Haracic has filled in and adds two clean sheets in five appearances for Gotham.