Houston Dash - Orlando Pride Preview: Houston faces hot Orlando in must-win match
Houston Dash vs Orlando Pride Preview: Houston faces hot Orlando in must-win match

Houston Dash - Orlando Pride Preview: Houston faces hot Orlando in must-win match

The Houston Dash face a red-hot Orlando Pride squad in a must-win early season match on Friday night in Texas.

baxter-colburn
Baxter Colburn

The Orlando Pride are HOT while the Houston Dash could really use a win. Two clubs, two different spots in the NWSL table and a lot of firepower make Friday night’s match a must-watch for fans of the clubs and those who follow the league overall.

Stop Alex Morgan, Stop Pride…Maybe

It is no secret that Alex Morgan has the hot foot for the Pride at the moment. She has two goals on the season and continues to pepper opposing goalkeepers with shots. Lianne Sanderson is option number two in Orlando for goals. No matter which player has the ball at their feet, somehow, at least one of them has found a way to score a goal. It’s still early in the season, but Orlando appears for the time being to have shed their “new kids on the block” title. According to the latest NWSL Power Rankings, the Pride find themselves at number two, only behind undefeated Washington Spirit.​

Houston Miss Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd #10 of Houston Dash sits on the bench with ice on her knee during a NWSL soccer match against the Orlando Pride at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 23, 2016 in Orlando, Florida | Alex Menendez - Getty Images
Carli Lloyd of the Houston Dash sits on the bench with ice on her knee during a NWSL soccer match against the Orlando Pride | Alex Menendez - Getty Images

The Dash started off the season in prime form and even led many to think the club would push for a playoff spot with little opposition. Superstar Carli Lloyd picked up an injury, now fast forward and the club is struggling to put together any real offensive production. The Dash sit in seventh in the NWSL Power Rankings with a 2-2-1 record. While the Dash do share the same record as two other clubs, it’s their lack of goals that really kill their ranking.

Winds of Chance Coming for Dash

Before Dash fans completely lose their minds, remember that rookie Rachel Daly is a dynamite striker and continues to create numerous chances per game. Mix in Morgan Brian, Janine Beckie, Chioma Ubogagu, Kealia Ohai, Andressa, Denise O’Sullivan and a whole slew of others and there really is no need to worry. A team with this many talented players will recover from the recent slump. With so many players playing their first minutes this season, it takes time to build chemistry. The injury to Lloyd is actually a blessing more than a thorn in the team’s side. Why? Without Lloyd on the field demanding the ball for 90 minutes, it allows new players and others who don’t see the ball as much actually have quality minutes on the ball to show what they are capable of doing.

Bottom Line

Orlando holds momentum moving into this match. Riding a two-game win streak, the Pride certainly like their chances to continue moving up the league table. On the flip-side, the Dash are one game away from taking over the league. Once again, as crazy as it sounds, Houston is incredibly close to putting all the pieces together and making an incredible run to the top of the table. If Houston contains the Pride scoring options, namely Morgan and Sanderson, then Houston can pull out a needed victory.

Score Prediction:

Houston Dash 3, Orlando Pride 2

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