It's the day we women's soccer fans have been waiting for ever since we found out in December we would be getting a National Women's Soccer League expansion franchise in Houston.
The Houston Dash will run onto the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium later tonight for their first ever match against the NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC. Interest in the game is high enough that the Dash are working on a sellout of the game and have opened up the upper bowl of BBVA Compass for ticket sales..
Their home games are also being broadcast on local television. The Dash are the second NWSL squad to have a local television deal.
Head Coach Randy Waldrum wants to put an exciting attacking squad on the field, and that has been the case in the Dash's preseason matches.
As the Dash's roster took shape, we ended up with Canadian national team members Lauren Sesselmann (who is hurt right now) and goalkeeper Erin McLeod and Mexican national team member Teresa Noyola via trades, and interestingly enough via the NWSL draft with the second overall pick the sister-in-law of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing in Kealia Ohai
Now the level of competition ramps up from the upper level college teams they played in preseason . The Dash will get a major measuring test of where they are when they face off against the Thorns, who like themselves are also affiliated with an MLS team..
Despite their expansion status, the Dash players have set lofty goals and are aiming to be one of the four teams left standing for the playoffs when their inaugural 24 game NWSL regular season concludes.
They are not only being watched by Houston sports fans, but other teams in MLS who are considering starting their own NWSL affiliated women's teams from scratch like the Dynamo did.with the Dash.
Best of luck in tonight's opener and hope it's a successful debut.
TransGriot Update: The Dash had a tying goal in stoppage time wiped out by a questionable offsides call and lost 1-0 to the Thorns