Preview: Houston Dash vs. FC Kansas City


The Houston Dash return home this weekend for their second home match of the season following a two match road trip. They face an FC Kansas City team that was one of the best in the league last season but that has struggled early on this year.

Match Information

Date: Saturday, May 3, 2014

Time: 7pm

Location: BBVA Compass Stadium

TV: CSN Plus

Live Stream: YouTube

A year ago, FC Kansas City finished tied atop the standings with Western New York and Portland Thorns, but crashed out in the first round of the playoffs. They made a clean sweep of all of the postseason awards including the Golden Boot and MVP award for US Women’s National Team star, Lauren Holiday (formerly Lauren Cheney), Rookie of the Year for Erika Tymrak, Goalkeeper of the Year for Nicole Barnhart and Defender of the Year for Becky Sauerbrunn.

This season, however, FC Kansas City has struggled in the attack and on defense. Coming into this week, they had only taken one out of a possible nine points. They finally recorded their first win of the season on Wednesday this week; an unconvincing 1-0 home win over the Chicago Red Stars.

The Dash are coming off of a busy week on the transaction front, trading for Kaylyn Kyle and signing Austrian international Nina Burger. Kyle will start against FC Kansas City while Burger will watch as she is not yet eligible to play.

The Teams

FC Kansas City (1-2-1), 4 points, 4th place

Aug 24, 2013; Overland Park, KS, USA; FC Kansas City midfielder Jen Buczkowski (6) passes the ball during the first half of the match against the Portland Thorns at Shawnee Mission District Stadium. Portland won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

FC Kansas City have generated plenty of scoring opportunities this season with their potent attack, but have struggled with hitting the back of the net. Amy Rodriguez has been in good form with 3 goals. However, last season’s NWSL scoring and assist leader, Lauren Holiday, has only managed a goal from the penalty spot despite having taken 17 shot of which 8 have been put on frame. No other FC Kansas City player has gotten on the score sheet thus far.

Defensively, FC Kansas City have struggled; in their first three matches they conceded 7 goals despite having quality players across the back four. Particularly devastating was conceding 2 goals in the final 7 minutes in a 3-1 loss last weekend at Portland.

FC Kansas City is yet another possession based attacking team. They will look to control possession and work the ball through the midfield up into the attack. Their fulbacks generally push far up the pitch to overlap in the attack, which leaves them exposed to quick counter-attacks.

Left back Kassey Kallman has looked particularly vulnerable to pace on counters this season. Last weekend at Portland, a lot of the Thorns attacks came down through that left side of the FC Kansas City defense.

What the Chicago Red Stars did particularly well on Wednesday night was bottling up the midfield. While FC Kansas City had plenty of possession, they struggled with turning that possession into opportunities. Chicago did an effective job of not letting the midfield connect with the forwards.

FC Kansas City will be working off of a short week. Lauren Holiday was taken off early against Chicago to preserve her for this weekend’s match, but the team may be feeling a bit of fatigue which could work in the favor of Houston’s high pressing and quick attacks.

Houston Dash (1-2-0), 3 points, tied for 6th place

Houston comes off a 2-0 loss at league leaders Seattle last weekend but will look a whole new team on Saturday night. The addition of Kaylyn Kyle to the midfield is a significant upgrade and allows Head Coach Randy Waldrum to get the team playing in the type of style he prefers.

More from Houston Dash

Kyle’s composure on the ball and her defensive tenacity eases the burden on Becky Edwards, instantly making her better, and will help the Dash to win the midfield battle and control possession. With the defense playing out of the back to Kyle and Edwards and the pair patiently finding gaps to exploit, the Dash should see an uptick in scoring opportunities from a week ago.

The key for the Dash will be converting the opportunities into goals, something they have struggled with at times. The Dash must be more composed in front of goal than they have been this season.

Kealia Ohai, Stephanie Ochs and Tiffany McCarty should give the FC Kansas City fullbacks all they can handle from a pace standpoint.

Waldrum and the team will be looking forward to getting back in front of their home crowd. As Waldrum noted yesterday,

"The home field advantage is key. Getting the fans out to be kind of that extra boost of energy that we need, I think that really helped us against Portland and we need that same thing against Kansas City."


While FC Kansas City is a strong team, the Dash have shown a never say die attitude this season and will be boosted by the presence of Kyle on the pitch and Nina Burger in the stands. The home crowd will push the Dash on to a 2-1 victory.

Injury Report

FC Kansas City: Amy LePeilbet (out),

Houston Dash: Brittany Bock (out), Lauren Sesselmann (out), Holly Hein (probable), Lindsay Elston (probable), Kealia Ohai (probable), Osinachi Ohale (probable)

Probable Lineup

FC Kansas City: GK – Barnhart; Def – Kallmann, Phillips, Robinson, Sauerbrunn; Mid – Buczkowski, Richmond, Mathias, Holiday, Tymrak; Fwd – Rodriguez

Houston Dash: GK – McLeod; Def – Toulouse, Hein, Ohale, Romero; Mid – Kyle, Edwards, Jackson; Fwd – Ohai, Masar, Ochs

Follow House Of Houston On Twitter – @HouseOfHouston
To Like House Of Houston On Facebook – Click Here