1. Houston Dash at OL Reign
Date: Saturday, May 6, 10:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Paramount+
No team has scored fewer goals in the regular season than the Houston Dash. Somehow a team with Diana Ordonez, Ebony Salmon, and Maria Sanchez has only managed to find the back of the net just three times in five league games. It is taking more time than many would have thought for these three top-class attacking players to become the most lethal trio in the league. A two-goal win over the Chicago Red Stars in the UKG Challenge Cup could have triggered something for Houston just like that competition did for the Current at the end of April.
Despite the fact that the goals in the league are not there at the moment through five weeks, the Dash still find themselves in the playoff picture. Mostly due to the fact that they have the best defensive record in the NWSL. Anchored by former USWNT international Jane Campbell between the sticks, Houston has collected three clean sheets in all competitions including one against a current top-four side.
Sam Laity’s side head back on the road to take on a depleted OL Reign that found a way to capture a point after being behind by two goals in Kentucky last week. Laity returns to Seattle for the first time since taking over for the Dash. The Englishmen was with the Reign from 2013 to 2022 serving as both an assistant and an interim head coach for a short period of time. Especially with his familiarity with the opponent, Laity will have his squad well-prepared to go to Lumen Field and conclude their winless streak.
In early August of 2022, these two sides met at Lumen where Houston came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory behind goals from Shea Groom, and Salmon. Even with Quinn, Rose Lavelle, and potentially Olivia Van der Jagt out of the Reign squad once again, this is a match between two playoff-bound clubs. Laity’s return is the icing on the cake for a contest that could very well have the highest drama of the weekend.