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NWSL Challenge Cup: Houston Dash Provide Fourth Of July Fireworks

Fourth of July soccer in the United States has a ring to it, doesn’t it? On Saturday while MLB continues to try to build towards a start to their 2020 season the NWSL Challenge Cup charged on with the Utah Royals taking on Sky Blue and followed up by the Houston Dash taking on OL Reign.

In the 12:30 p.m. slot the Utah Royals took down Sky Blue 1-0. During the 10:00 p.m. window the Houston Dash defeated OL Reign 2-0.

Royals Notch First Win

For the Royals, this was their first win of the Challenge Cup and they move to a 1-0-1 record while Sky Blue drops to 0-1-1. The lone goal of the match was scored by Amy Rodriguez in the 41st minute and she was assisted by Veronica Boquete. Skye Blue despite winning the possession battle struggled to get anything going offensively with just three shots, zero on target. That is compared to the 14 shots fired by Utah, four of which were on target.

“If you’re the Chicago Bulls, you get Michael Jordan the ball,” said Utah Royals Manager Craig Harrington after the game on Amy Rodriguez. “If you’re the Utah Royals, you get A-Rod the ball.”

Houston Dash Are For Real

With the sun setting in Utah there were two types of fireworks on display. The first kind was literal fireworks across the landscape for the Fourth of July. The other kind was courtesy of two gorgeous goals from the Houston Dash.

In the 12th minute Kristen Mewis scored a scorching one timer assisted by a backheel flick from Shea Groom.

In the 54th minute Rachel Daly sent in a picture perfect cross to find a dashing Groom for a world class header to make it 2-0.

Many are already calling the Dash the surprise team in the tournament and they certainly deserve that honor. With the win they move to 1-0-1 and have scored six goals in their first two matches. Offensively they have multiple outlets to attack and there is a clear commitment to play both sides of the game. When your central forward is tracking back deep into your own third to play defense you are doing something right.

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Up Next…

With the second set of matches in the books we are officially halfway through the preliminary round of the Challenge Cup. On Sunday the NWSL Challenge Cup is back with the North Carolina Courage taking on the Chicago Red Stars at 12:30 p.m. on CBS All Access. The Courage are 2-0-0 and the clear favorites to run away with this entire tournament. That being said, the Red Stars at 0-1-1 have shown a lot of potential and already have shown an ability to hold off stronger opponents.

The second mach on Sunday is a 10:00 p.m. show-down between the Portland Thorns and the Washington Spirit. For USWNT fans this is Lindsey Horan v Rose Lavelle.

Written By

Tanner founded Trifecta Sports in Spring of 2016 and has grown it from a blog into a multi-faceted media entity. He covers the New England Revolution, Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Cannons, New England Patriots, and the Providence College Friars.

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