Happy Alex Morgan Week to all who celebrate! That’s right. This week Alex Morgan, two-time World Cup winner the captain and star of the USWNT, is coming to town. Morgan’s NWSL team the San Diego Wave will be in Houston this weekend taking on the Houston Dash who are looking to capitalize on the momentum of last week’s thrilling come-from-behind win over the previously undefeated Portland Thorns.
Here’s everything you need to know to get ready for this week’s match, which promises to be a big test for the Houston Dash and an exciting match for casual fans and enthusiasts alike.
How to Watch Houston Dash vs San Diego Wave
Date and Time: Saturday May 20 | 7:30pm Central
Location: Shell Energy Stadium in East Downtown Houston
TV: AT&T Sportsnet Southwest 2
Tickets: Tickets start at just $10 via SeatGeek, the official ticket provider of the Houston Dash and Dynamo
Promos: AAPI Heritage Night
Scouting Alex Morgan and San Diego
Alex Morgan, as you might expect, has been one of the best players in the NWSL since returning to the United States. Morgan won the Golden Boot last year, leading the NWSL with 16 goals in 2022 and she is currently tied for 2nd in Goals this year with 4 in just 6 games. The U.S. Women’s National Team star now has 25 goals in all competitions since joining San Diego, the most by any NWSL player in that time. She’s become a national hero for a reason. Alex Morgan is an absolutely electric player.
The rest of San Diego’s offense are no slouches either, and the Wave are tied for second in the league with 12 goals scored. Players like 18-year old phenom Jaedyn Shaw (3 goals so far) and Defender Cristen Joan (team’s leading assist woman) will prove to be a challenge for the Houston Dash on the back line, but San Diego are not an unbeatable side. San Diego has lost 2 of their last 3 matches, giving up 3 goals apiece to the Washington Spirit (the best team in the league) and the Orlando Pride. So there will be opportunities for the Dash to be aggressive, score, and win if they can hold up against Alex Morgan and Jaedyn Shaw defensively.
Can The Houston Dash Keep Up Their Momentum?
New Head Coach Sam Laity and the Houston Dash are still finding their footing early on in the season, but last week’s stunning comeback win against the previously unbeaten Portland Thorns felt like it could be a turning point.
Ebony Salmon, Houston’s leading scorer in 2022 with 9 goals, got her first goal of the season to win the game last weekend and it was a beauty.
At the start of the season, it seemed like combining Ebony Salmon with team newcomer Diana Ordóñez, who was a top 5 goal scorer in the NWSL last year with the North Carolina Courage, would make the Houston Dash an unstoppable offensive force. Unfortunately, that hasn’t panned out as of yet with Salmon and Ordóñez’s partnership up front leaving a lot to be desired so far. Ordóñez missed last week’s game against Portland due to health and safety protocols, and Salmon looked much more engaged playing up front with forwards María Sánchez and Michelle Alozie supporting her attack. The Dash will have to hope that Ordóñez and Salmon can build up the necessary on-field chemistry for them both to shine together, especially with Alex Morgan on the other side.
As far as the midfield and defensive end for the Houston Dash, Coach Laity has been tinkering with a variety of looks and lineups so it’s hard to say exactly who will be starting on Saturday night. Personally, I would like to see Left Back Courtney Petersen return to the starting lineup. I think Petersen provides stout defense on her side of the pitch along with some attacking upside, constantly looking to send through balls up to Sánchez and Salmon from the left side on counter attacks. The Dash will need that aggressive play out of their back line. I’d also like to see Center Backs Katie Lind and Allysha Chapman get starts as well. Both Lind and Chapman are experienced veterans who provide a calming effect for the Dash that I think will be extremely important against an opponent like San Diego. On the right side of the back line, Caprice Dydasco has been consistently starting in that spot and holding it down. I had her in my Players To Watch Guide at the beginning of the year and she’s proven me right every week with high energy, heady play on defense.
Ultimately, I do think the Houston Dash’s defense is good enough that they will be able to survive Alex Morgan and San Diego’s aggressiveness on the offensive end. I do expect the Dash to give up at least a goal, as San Diego is a tough team to shut out. But I think we’ll keep the game in hand enough that Ebony Salmon and Diana Ordóñez will be able to eventually breakthrough for the 3 points.
Houston Dash – 2 | San Diego Wave – 1
Raise Hell at The Shell!