The Unused Sub: Actually, The Dash Can Figure This Out


How was your Memorial Day weekend? I spent one evening watching two movies, Independence Day: Resurgence and Suicide Squad. Yep, they were bad.

And so we have our first coaching change in the 2017 NWSL season. Randy Waldrum was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Houston Dash. It’s no surprise to anyone, as he had to get the Dash screaming out of the gate, collecting wins, and failed to do so. No one is going to dispute his soccer acumen at the college level, but for whatever reason, his coaching skills did not translate into results at the professional level. Will the Dash, as they’re currently constructed, respond better to a different voice, whoever that new voice is? One could say well they can’t do any worse than where they are now. It probably is an unenviable task to be the head coach of the Houston Dash for the rest of the season and possibly beyond.

However, it could also be a welcome, if not fun challenge.

You can make the point that the Houston Dash plan never got off the drawing board from the first season. So what is the harm in not only erasing that drawing board, but outright smashing it into oblivion? There is talent on that team in Kealia Ohai, Rachel Daly, and Amber Brooks. Don’t get me wrong, whoever is the next (permanent) head coach will have their work cut out. The turnaround isn’t happening this season, but if the new coach has a vision that is enough of a breath of fresh air to the current players, then whatever the vision of what Houston Dash soccer is supposed to be, will finally materialize.

One last thing related to the Houston Dash, I do hope all is well with Rachel Daly. We all saw the scare at the end of last weekend’s match between the Dash and Seattle Reign FC, where she collapsed due to heat exhaustion. The one thing we knocked on all pieces of wood on, hoping wouldn’t happen with these unwise mid-day kickoffs in places that are simply hot, happened. The league and Lifetime Networks got rightfully lambasted for it and we’ll just have to wait and see if they do plan to move kickoff times earlier or later in places where mid-day temperatures are at a level where the numbers don’t matter – it’s just too hot.

So yeah, again, hope all is well with Rachel Daly. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen to any other player in the league this season.

So we all went into this season with hype on Boston Breakers midfielder Rose Lavelle as likely an NWSL Rookie of the Year candidate, and so far she is living up to the fanfare of being the 1st overall draft pick. Who else is making noise so far? I think it’s Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and Seattle Reign FC forward Katie Johnson. No one is doubting that Sheridan owns the real estate between the posts for Sky Blue. As for Johnson, it’s simply this – when she enters the game for Seattle, things happen. These three are showing they damn sure can play in this league and this could be a fun race to watch the rest of the season.

Let’s see how I do with this week’s predictions.

  • North Carolina Courage and FC Kansas City play to a DRAW.
  • Washington Spirit OVER Houston Dash.
  • Sky Blue FC OVER Portland Thorns FC.
  • Orlando Pride and Boston Breakers play to a DRAW.
  • Seattle Reign FC OVER Chicago Red Stars.

And yes I am aware that last prediction is likely going to draw the ire of my Backline Soccer colleague Sandra Herrera, but hey – YOLO!

Here’s this week’s music video break.

Song: Land Of The Free | Artist: Joey Bada$$

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