Houston Dash vs. Reign FC
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Watch live on Yahoo Sports
Houston enters their sixth season in the NWSL on Sunday under the direction of James Clarkson, the third head coach in franchise history. Clarkson was named the head coach last December and the former Dynamo Academy director inherited a roster that won nine games and earned 32 points in 2018, the most in franchise history. Sixteen players return to Houston for the 2019 season, marking the lowest offseason roster turnover for the club.
Defender Amber Brooks is projected to make her 100th league appearance on Sunday against the Reign, who traded the 2018 team Defender of the Year to Houston at the end of the 2015 season. For the second consecutive year, Brooks played every minute of every game in the 2018 NWSL season and spent the offseason with teammate Veronica Latsko in the W-League with Adelaide United. Brooks, the 2017 team MVP, has appeared in 67 games for the Dash since making her debut in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars to open the 2016 NWSL regular season.
Offensively, the Dash will feature the 2018 team Golden Boot winner Rachel Daly and captain Kealia Ohai, who combined for 14 goals last season. Midfielder Sofia Huerta returns to the Dash after a busy offseason where she won the W-League Grand Final with Sydney FC.
Houston bolstered the roster with the signing of NWSL veteran Christine Nairn, who finished at the top of the regular season table with Melbourne Victory in the W-League this offseason. Nairn will pair with Canadian international Sophie Schmidt, who brings nearly 200 appearances for the CanWNT at the senior level. Defensively, Houston signed Austin native Satara Murray and Mexican international Arianna Romero to provide depth at the backline and compete with incumbents Allysha Chapman and Clare Polkinghorne for playing time ahead of this summer’s Women’s World Cup.
In addition to Chapman and Polkinghorne, the Dash are projected to miss up to eight players this summer during the FIFA Women's World Cup. Lindsay Agnew and Nichelle Prince will join Chapman and Schmidt with Canada as they compete in Group E against Cameroon, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Daly and England will compete in Group D against Argentina, Japan and Scotland. Kyah Simon will join Polkinghorne and the Matildas as they face Brazil, Italy and Kayla McCoy and Jamaica in Group C play.
The Dash are looking to win their second consecutive game against the Reign at BBVA Compass Stadium. Latsko decided the last encounter between the two sides at BBVA Compass Stadium with a second half stoppage-time goal that gave Houston a 2-1 victory, the first victory for the Dash in the series.
- OUT: Meleana Shim (Left ankle) Kyah Simon (Right Ankle)
- QUESTIONABLE: Kristie Mewis (Left Knee)
- OUT: Megan Rapinoe (calf strain), Steph Catley (calf strain), Beverly Yanez (concussion)
- QUESTIONABLE: None