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Lack of goals, unsettled lineup led to Sam Laity’s early exit from Houston

The Dash have scored the fewest goals in the NWSL this season despite a much-hyped attacking trio

© Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

After less than 10 months at the helm, Sam Laity is no longer the head coach of the Houston Dash. 

On Wednesday, the Englishman was officially fired after a poor stretch of form that subsequently put the Texas club’s National Women’s Soccer League playoff hopes on a lifeline. 

Houston has not won a regular-season match since a 2-0 home win over the Orlando Pride on June 3, a winless streak of eight matches (0-3-5). Including the Challenge Cup, the Dash are 1-5-5 over the past 11 matches. 

Perhaps most eye-catching about the Dash’s poor 2023 season under Laity is the lack of goals — especially given the attacking talent on the team’s roster. Houston has managed to find the back of the net just 12 times in 18 regular season matches (0.66 per match). That is the worst goal-scoring record in the NWSL, and seven goals behind the next most goal-shy team, the Kansas City Current. 

Laity inherited a team with newly revived forward Ebony Salmon, who scored nine goals in 11 matches after signing with the Dash midway through the 2022 season for a club-record fee. Although a ruptured Achilles meant Nichelle Prince would not be available on the wing for the first nine months of the year, Houston had recently uncovered Michelle Alozie to be a significant contributor and a suitable replacement. 

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