Sports

Houston Is Well Represented At Women’s Soccer World Cup

Look out for Houston Dash players on the Australia, Canada and England teams.

In this August 2016 file photo Canadian soccer player Sophie Schmidt controls the ball against Zimbabwe’s Rejoice Kapfumvuti during a group B match of the women’s Olympic football tournament between Canada and Zimbabwe in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is already in play and, for local soccer fans, there are several Houston Dash players to root for.

Jen Cooper, sports analyst and host of the Houston Dash podcast, told Houston Matters on Monday that the Dash is sending six players to the World Cup. Cooper said a few former Dash players and one native Houstonian are competing in the World Cup as well.

Houston Dash players Sophie Schmidt, Nichelle Prince, Allysha Chapman, and Lindsay Agnew are competing for Canada. Rachel Daly is on the England team and Clare Polkinghorne on the Australian team. Kayla McCoy was scheduled to play for Jamaica, but had to cancel due to a torn ACL.

Cooper told Houston Matters that not having a current player on the U.S. Women’s team works to the Dash’s advantage.

“[The U.S. players] left earlier for the World Cup than almost any other country, so [the Dash have] had, I think, a little bit longer time with their core,” Cooper said. “They weren’t suddenly losing their main striker.”

Jen Cooper, Soccer Analyst
Jen Cooper is a soccer analyst and host of the Houston Dash podcast.

Additionally, Cooper said that being part of the U.S. Women’s team can sometimes impact players’ focus.

“The biggest challenge for women’s soccer here in the States is that the women’s national team has been the basis for women’s soccer for a long time, and that the League is something new,” Cooper said. “Whereas in most countries, the leagues existed before the national team did.”

Because of this, Cooper said members of the U.S. Women’s team tend to focus more on the World Cup than the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which can cause them to lose focus on their local team’s games. However, since other countries tend to put less emphasis on the World Cup, the Dash players are less likely to face this problem.

Although none of the current Dash players are playing for the U.S. team, one former player is: Carli Lloyd. Morgan Brian, another former player, will also be at the World Cup.

Also, Houston native Michaela Abam is playing for her parents’ native country of Cameroon.

Michaela Abam
Houston native Michaela Abam, who played collegiately for West Virginia, is competing in the World Cup for her parents’ native country of Cameroon.

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