As the NWSL season approaches, I’m getting more and more excited to see what the Houston Dash have to offer. Will they pull another Seattle Reign, and go from the bottom of the table to the top? It’s possible, with the off season moves they’ve made, even if they will take a potential hit during the WWC.
1) The Dash drafted Morgan Brian, the “future of US soccer”
Brian was the clear consolation prize of being the worst team in the NWSL in 2014, and it looks like Randy Waldrum is in the process of building a team around a stellar central midfield, anchored by Brian and by his next prized acquisition, Carli Lloyd.
2) They acquired Carli Lloyd from Western New York
Lord Carlos has been on fire and shows no signs of slowing down. The Dash proved to be a hard-charging, tenacious team last year, and Carli’s physical play will extend that modus operandi while bringing maturity to the squad.
3) Megan Klingenberg is back with the squad
Megan Klingenberg, a rising (if mis-used) star with the USWNT, will be back with the Dash for more of the season than she was last year. The team improved dramatically as soon as she made it back from Europe. So, even if she gets called up to the WNT for the Cup, she’ll be more of a presence this year, which can only help the Dash.
4) The Dash have acquired some non-internationals to fill in while USWNT players are away
While the Dash wait for the USWNT players to return from World Cup duties, they’ll need to rely on some non-international players. Enter Jessica McDonald – the surprise top scorer on the Portland Thorns last year – who will take a spot on the Dash’s forward line. To make things even MORE interesting, they’ve gone for a big splash of pizazz and technical ability by grabbing Stephanie Roche from Ireland.
5) The Dash is still the most promising MLS affiliate
All eyes will be on the Dash as they negotiate their relationship with the Houston Dynamo. It will be fun to watch how the Dash’s affiliation with the Dynamo affect their viewership and penetration into the Houston market. If they can milk this affiliation for interest and money, they have the potential to be a model for affiliations with the MLS.
It’s not quite to the level of “has Laura Harvey made a trade today?” but the Dash are making smart moves and building an intriguing squad for the 2015 season.