After the dress rehearsal of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, San Diego Wave FC will embark on their debut regular season beginning Sunday, when they head to Texas for the first time to face the Houston Dash.
San Diego wrapped the Challenge Cup with a 1W-3L-2D group stage performance, capped off with a grinding 1-1 draw against OL Reign last weekend. I think it’s not too generous to say that San Diego were handed some real breaks en route to that draw, but you deal with the cards you’re dealt, and credit to Casey Stoney’s side for taking advantage of the favorable moments and splitting the points.
The Houston side they’ll be facing has been in the news this week, with head coach and GM James Clarkson suspended for breaking league rules. The exact infraction has not been publicized yet, but regardless, yet another coach being relieved of his duties for breaking the rules is bad, and for the Dash, potentially throws up another roadblock in terms of preparing for this game.
However, it may be as likely the sudden coaching change will improve the energy around the Dash and give them a boost as it will hurt their chances in this game, as Stoney and Alex Morgan pointed out ahead of this clash. That’s true, we won’t know until we see the game unfold, but with the Dash struggling in Challenge Cup play and then having additional turmoil in the leadup to the regular season opener, this seems like the perfect time for San Diego to pick up their first road win and start the campaign on a high. Can they do it? We’ll see what happens.
- Tegan McGrady (COVID protocol) — OUT
- Kayla Bruster (thigh) — OUT
- Cali Farquharson (leg) — OUT
How to Watch:
Sunday’s match between San Diego Wave FC and the Houston Dash will be streamed in the United States on Paramount+. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 4 pm PT, with kickoff to come shortly after.