072220 Dash POR DL

Dash to face Portland in NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinal

The Houston Dash will take on the Portland Thorns in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinal at 11:30 a.m. CST on Wednesday, July 22 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Match will be streamed live on CBS All Access and Twitch.  

The Dash defeated tournament host Utah Royals FC on Friday night INA thrilling penalty shootout, the second in league history. Co-captains MF goalkeeper Jane Campbell earned Budweiser Woman of the Match honors with two saves in the penalty shootout, punching Houston’s  ticket into the semifinal. The strong defensive effort in front of Campbell featured center backs Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster who combined to make 13 clearances in the two shutout games in the tournament 

This tournament, the team has been led offensively by co-captain and veteran Rachel Daly, who has scored two goals and an assist in four games of the preliminary round. Daly and midfielders Shea Groom and Kristie Mewis combined for a total of five goals in the first two games against Utah Royals FC and OL Reign, but have been held scoreless in their last three outings. The Dash will need them to regain that scoring form in order to advance to the Challenge Cup Final.  



Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns 


Wednesday, July 22 – 11:30 a.m. CDT 


CBS All Access & Twitch 

Here are three points ahead of Wednesday’s game:

1. DEFEATING THE THORNS – In the past, Houston has struggled against a Portland side that has two NWSL Championships under their belt. The Dash trail the Thorns in the overall series, 2-11-3. Houston, led by Daly and Campbell, will look to get the third-ever victory against Portland tomorrow afternoon, knowing that if they do so, they will get a ticket to the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Final.  

2. ROAD TO THE SEMIFINAL – For the first time in club history, the Dash will play a semifinal in a knockout round setting after earning the fourth seed in the NWSL Challenge Cup. Houston played four games in 13 days during the preliminary round before taking on Utah in the quarterfinal. Although the squad’s exciting performance so far has earned the Dash a round of praise from national media, the players insist that their sights are set on bigger things, namely winning the tournament. A strong performance in tomorrow’s semifinal match will be crucial to give Clarkson and the Dash an opportunity to fight for the first ever league title in club history. 

3. ABOVE ALL, TEAM – The quality that head coach James Clarkson has mentioned he values the most is the team’s chemistry on and off the field. “I’ve said even before preseason started that one of the goals this year was to have the best team - not necessarily the best players or squad, but the camaraderie of the team spirit was a huge goal for us,” Clarkson said. “In an event like this, that can make all the difference.”