Omar Morales Announced as Interim Houston Dash Head Coach

Photo: Houston Dash

Houston Dash has announced on Tuesday the appointment of Omar Morales as the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2017 National Womens’ Soccer League (NWSL) season following the departure of Randy Waldrum.

 “It has been an interesting 10 days or so. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity and just ready to get working and try to get this ship turned around with the team – push the girls to get better every day.” Said Morales in a conference call.

In the process Houston Dash has made history as Morales is the first ever Latino coach in league history. Morales has already made his coaching debut with the Dash as he managed the team through their match this weekend against Washington Spirit on Saturday.

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Seattle Reign Defeat Houston Dash

It was yet another hot middle of the day NWSL match at BBVA Compass Stadium as Houston Dash fell to a 2-0 loss to Seattle Reign on Saturday afternoon.

Dash fans were left frustrated as their side hit the post three times but just could not put the ball in the back of the net. Seattle managed to capitalize well on the chances that came their way, giving Dash a frustrating season.

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Late Goal puts Sky Blue FC Past Houston Dash

Andressa competes for a header (Photo: Houston Dash)

Houston Dash suffered a heart breaking loss on Saturday afternoon as they fell to Sky Blue FC in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon thanks to a late goal giving Sky Blue the 2-1 win.

The winning goal came five minutes from time as Houston Dash failed to clear the ball from a free-kick conceded by Cami Privett. The ball was pumped in to the box and after a fight for the ball Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodriguez was able to poke it past Lydia Williams in the Dash goal.

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Houston Dash get first away win of the Season

Dash and Washington Spirit collide (Photo: Houston Dash)

Houston Dash has managed their first road win of the year as a Kealia Ohai managed a 1-0 win over Washington Spirit at Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday afternoon.

That goal came in the 28th minute after a pass from Denise O’Sullivan on the left wing, creating space for Ohai. She made a good run along the sideline, allowing him to cut inside. Creating space in the box, allowing her to beat Stephanie Lebbe with a shot at the far post.

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Houston Dash Reveal 2017 Away kit

Photo: Houston Dash

Already two weeks in to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season Houston Dash has revealed their alternate kit for the 2017 season.

Reportedly the move comes after Nike has removed the chevron style that was popular last season from their catalog, forcing Dash to choose a different design. It must have been a late decision from the Dash or Nike as the kit they have chosen is certainly a generic kit from the catalog, fairly unusual for a top flight professional club.

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Houston Dash Leave Bianca Henninger out of 20 Player Roster

Photo: Houston Dash

Houston Dash has announced their 20 player squad for the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season on Monday. They begin play on Saturday in a home match against the Chicago Red Stars.

The one thing that fans were looking to was which of the three goalkeepers would be left off of the 20 player squad. In the end it was Bianca Henninger who was the unlucky player excluded as Australian Lydia Williams and new USA international Jane Campbell were chosen ahead of Henninger, who had played 20 times for Dash since their inception, especially when Williams was away on Australia duty.

Sarah Hagen has joined the club as she was waived by Orlando Pride on the 6th, after playing 17 matches and scoring twice. That allowed Dynamo to pick her up and add some needed depth up front, especially in the absence of Carli Lloyd for much of the season.

There are four federation players assigned to the Dash in Lloyd and her fellow USA midfielder Morgan Brian. The two Canadian federation players in the squad are Janine Beckie and Nichelle Prince who were both part of the bronze medal winning Canadian side from Rio 2016.

There are three Brazilian players in the squad in defenders Bruna Benites and Poliana as well as midfielder Andressa. Denise O’Sullivan remains, along with Rachel Daly representing Ireland and England respectively while Janine Van Wyk is interestingly listed as English despite being South African.

Houston Dash have gone for a top-heavy roster with seven players listed as ‘forwards’ but that is likely only a designation rather than where all seven of those players would be playing on the pitch. Just six players are listed as defenders but with a 20 player squad it is hard to strike a perfect balance.

Houston Dash Settle for draw in final Portland Invitational Match

Photo: Houston Dash

Houston Dash completed their preseason stint in Portland with a 1-1 draw against the Portland Thorns on Saturday evening. The result sees Houston finish the tournament with a 1-1-1 record, a mixed weekend with promising signs ahead of the season proper.

Portland took the lead just 17 minutes in to the match as their midfielder Mana Shim was able to find space on the edge of the area and score. Her shot was hit too powerfully for Houston goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who got a hand to the ball but it wasn’t enough as the shot still hit the back of the net to open the scoring.

But Houston responded and found a goal back thanks to some stunning work from their forward Stephanie Ochs. She was able to collect the ball and send it forward for Houston midfielder Rachel Daly who beat the defenders to it and made space for the shot which beat Britt Eckerstrom in the Thorns goal to make it 1-1, where the score would remain until the final whistle.

There could well have been an early lead for the Dash as they had an early chance in the sixth minute when a corner fell to Bruna Benites. She was able to get a shot away but the Portland defense did just enough to keep it out and clear.

That control continued in the early stages of the match and in the 15th minute as Houston had their second early chance of the match. Dash midfielder Andressa was able to send a through-ball forward for forward Melissa Henderson who was unable to get on the end of the ball.

While Houston may have done well in the match and been the better side throughout the 90 minutes they were left frustrated. Part of that was no doubt because of Eckerstrom’s performance in goal routinely denying Houston’s chances.

Houston Dash Fall to Chicago in Preseason

Christen Press playing last season (Photo: Heather L/Wikimedia Commons)

Houston Dash suffered their first loss of preseason as they fell to a 2-1 loss to Chicago Red Stars in the Thorns Spring Invitational in Portland on Wednesday night.

Chicago had the lead in the first half as a penalty allowed them to take the lead in the 41st minute which came after Chicago forward Jen Hoy was brought down. That allowed another Chicago forward, Christen Press to step up to the spot and hit the penalty successfully to make it 1-0 for Chicago at half-time.

The second half was like the first, tight throughout most of the match with neither side able to get a goal until late in the half. That goal came in the 81st minute through yet another penalty as Houston forward Melissa Henderson was fouled by Chicago defender Taylor Comeau, allowing Henderson to dust herself off and bury the penalty.

But that was only short lived as two minutes later Chicago restored their lead and sealed the win with Press again scoring the goal. The cross came in to the box, Press controlled with her first touch and scored with her second, scoring with a goal that snuck in by the near post for the winner.

Things could have been very different for the Dash had they have converted their early chances in the match. Three minutes in Janine Beckie and Nichelle Prince linked up well for Houston as Prince set up Beckie whose shot beat the keeper but scraped the crossbar on the way out for a goalkick.

Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naher was on fire for the Red Stars as she made several strong saves against the Dash throughout the much. In the 22nd minute Beckie was denied as her volley was saved by a Naher punch before another chance fell to Beckie again in the 39th when Naher recovered to close down Beckie and get enough on it to get it away from the forward, proving a vital part of the win.

Houston Dash Come From Behind to Defeat US Under 23s

Houston Dash has continued their perfect start to preseason as they managed a comeback victory over the Under 23 US Women’s National Team at Providence Park in Portland on Sunday afternoon.

Defender Bruna Benites and midfielder Amber Brooks scored the goals giving Houston Dash a bit win to boost confidence ahead of the season proper. After trailing heading in to the 89th minute the Dash exploded and managed an impressive come back.

The first goal came in the 74th minute to the Under 23 National Team as US Under 23 forward Savannah McCaskill saw her shot saved by Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger. The rebound fell back out to McCaskill who was able to sneak the ball home from close range just sneaking it between Henninger and the post.

Seemingly out of the match Houston Dash was able to pull back to level terms in the 89th minute, seemingly getting a draw out of the match. Benites scored the goal, her first for the club as she redirected a cross from Brooks, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Despite it seeming like Houston would have to settle for a draw the Dash were able to steal the win in the 94th minute.  The ball was sent in by forward Stephanie Ochs who swung in a corner finding Brooks who beat the keeper to the ball heading it home.

In truth the result was likely a fair reflection of the match as Houston troubled Casey Murphy in the US Under 23s goal much more than Henninger was troubled. Houston Dash continue their play in the Thorns Spring Invitational on Wednesday when they play Chicago Red Stars.

Photo: Amber Brooks on the ball last season (Source: Houston Dash)