On Sunday, the Houston Dash defeated OL Reign 2-0 to keep up their hot offensive start in the 2020 Challenge Cup. Here are three things we learned.
The Houston Dash’s offense kept its foot on the gas by defeating OL Reign 2-0 in their second game of the NWSL Challenge Cup. With the win, Houston moves into second place in the standings, tied with the Utah Royals on points but sneaking ahead on goal difference.
Kristie Mewis scored her first goal of the competition, getting on the end of a Shea Groom pass and taking it first-time in the 11th minute, putting the Dash in the ascendency early on. Groom then put the final exclamation point on the victory when she got up to head home Rachel Daly’s cross to double the advantage and send her side home with three points.
Here are three things we learned.
3. Another stalemate for Reign
Every team in the NWSL has played two games. Only two are yet to score: Sky Blue FC and OL Reign. There were already questions surrounding Reign heading into this tournament. Specifically, what would the side look like under new head coach Farid Benstiti? Every team has had to endure unusual training schedules to prepare for this competition, so having an already established culture and style in place is a huge advantage over other clubs. Unfortunately for Reign, they don’t have that luxury and are having to learn Benstiti’s style on the fly.
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Bethany Balcer, Jodie Taylor and Darian Jenkins ended 2019 as the top three goalscorers for the club and are available in the Challenge Cup, but they are yet to make to the impact they did last season when the club made a surprise trip to the playoffs.
Reign was without Jessica Fishlock for the past two games due to injury. She was vital when she was available in 2019. In only five games played, she scored three goals and earned one assist. If Fishlock returns to health in this tournament, that should help the scoring woes. Whatever the solution, Benstiti and Reign need to find one. And quick.