Houston Dash soon returns to defending their NWSL Challenge Cup. But first to replace valuable players headed to international duty.
Houston Dash is poised to win and keep their NWSL Challenge Cup. But first, they must replace some of their most valuable players called in for international duty. The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup defense starts in April and ends May 8, a week before the regular season begins.
U.S. National Women’s Team claimed goalkeeper Jane Campbell and midfielder Kristie Mewis. Also gone for now are Canadian defender Allysha Chapman, midfielder Sophie Schmidt, and forward Nichelle Prince. Add to those England forward Rachel Daly.
With all that talent away from the home pitch, it sounds grim, doesn’t it? But the Dash brass has some other ideas as the Cup competition nears.
Instead of grieving the loss – however temporary – of key contributors to the Houston Dash they join their national teams, the plan is to showcase two women. These new players have somehow fallen through the cracks onto Houston’s roster.
Soree already won head coach James Clarkson’s confidence as a Non-Roster Invitee. Just 22, she has had cups of coffee in the pros since playing for the University of Central Florida from 2016-19. There she made 67 appearances with 55 starts, 14 goals, and 11 assists. She made the American Athletic Conference All–Rookie team and All-Conference Second Team.
She started setting off scouting report alerts with the Belgian U-17, U-19, and senior national teams. She earned three caps on the senior side.
Houston Dash has provided Soree her big chance to open the pro books and indelibly inscribe her name on the roster. The Dash front office hopes she does.
Michelle Alozie is also just age 22. She also started attracting attention playing in college. She scored her first career goal as a starter with Yale. There, she earned Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Year. She played at Tennessee as a graduate student, scoring three goals in 17 appearances.
Alozie then went pro with BIIK Kazygurt, a Kazakhstan powerhouse, before her stop with the Dash, which began this preseason.
It’s all up to Zandy Soree and Michelle Alozie. Will they stay on, adding depth to the Dash roster?
They will answer that question by their performance. A Yes will be a great response not just for them, but for the Houston Dash.