071620 Dash Royals QF DL

Dash take on Utah Royals FC in NWSL Challenge Cup quarterfinals

The Houston Dash are set to take on tournament host Utah Royals FC for a rematch in the quarterfinal single-elimination knockout round at 9:00 p.m. CST on Friday, July 17 at Zions Bank Stadium. Match will be streamed live on CBS All Access and Twitch.  

With a record of 1-2-1 and four points, the Dash earned the fourth seed in the knockout rounds. Although the team finished the preliminary round in a four-way tie on four points, the Dash took the fourth seed by virtue of having scored the second-most goals in the preliminary round. 

 

WHO: 

Houston Dash vs. Utah Royals FC 

WHEN: 

Wednesday, July 16 – 9:00 p.m. CST 

STREAM: 

CBS All Access & Twitch 

 

Here are three key points ahead of Friday’s quarterfinal: 

1. WIN OR GO HOME – Friday’s match will be the first in Dash history in which the team finds itself in a “win or go home” elimination setting. For a club that came into 2020 searching for its first playoff appearance, this is somewhat of uncharted territory, but the Dash can look to veterans such as defenders Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster, as well as midfielder Shea Groom, each of whom have extensive NWSL Playoff experience as they manage the pressure of the knockout rounds. 

2. LOOKING FOR A SHUTOUT – Head Coach James Clarkson emphasized in his pre-match press conference that the team has worked on correcting defensive mistakes. “We have a bit more insight in how they’re going to play,” said Clarkson. “It’s important we get organized and we get the game plan right to lead us to victory.” Houston’s defense will be led by co-captain Jane Campbell, who is looking to hold the backline down alongside center backs Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster to earn the team’s second shutout of the tournament. A strong defensive performance by Houston will be crucial to earn a spot in the semifinal.  

3. ROAD TO QUARTERFINALS – After playing four games in 13 days during the preliminary round, the Dash have enjoyed the opportunity to rest and recover with a five-day break between matches. Forward Rachel Daly, who has played nearly every minute in Houston’s first four outings, will look to use that rest and continue a strong run of form against Utah. Daly has scored a total of four goals in the last two games against the Royals. Daly, along with forward Katie Stengel and midfielders Shea Groom and Kristie Mewis, will look to join forces to send the Dash into the semifinal round. As the fourth seed, Houston sits in the same side of the bracket as North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns.