Angel City draws with Dash in front of sold out crowd

A sellout crowd of 22,000 fans showed up to watch Angel City. However, they did not get to see any goals in the scoreless draw.

LOS ANGELES — The post was just not Angel City’s friend in their 0-0 draw with the Houston Dash.

77 minutes into the game, forward Alyssa Thompson took a shot between a few defenders but missed off the post. Then, in the final stoppage time, midfielder Le Bihan took a powerful shot, but it hit the post, ending Angel City’s chance of picking up three points.

The draw moves Angel City to ninth in the NWSL, seven points away from a playoff spot. 

Angel City celebrated pride night against the Dash. During the pregame fan fest, they had dance performances and drag performances, along with other pride-related festivities. Then, 22,000 fans showed up for the game, a sell out. They were enthusiastic as they waved LGBTQ flags and honored pride in other ways. 

“I think everyone should have a voice for sure. And I’m glad that we celebrate it to make sure that everyone in the LGBTQ+ community has a voice and is seen here and feels loved and we all support them and this team, and we’re so happy that we got to celebrate it tonight,” said forward Alyssa Thompson.

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The fans also cheered on midfielder Julie Ertz and forward Alyssa Thompson, as it was their last game with Angel City before the 2023 World Cup. Thompson and Ertz will join the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) on Monday.

Thompson was active on offense, displaying her speed and working well in tight spaces. 10 minutes into the game, she played a through ball between two defenders to find forward Sydney Leroux, but her shot was saved. 

76 minutes into the game, Thompson received a long pass. Then, she took a few dribbles and shot on goal, but her shot was saved.

Thompson led the team in shots on target (two). However, she left the game 85 minutes into it with cramps, and forward Katie Johnson replaced her.

Despite being Ertz’s last game before the World Cup, Sunday also marked 100 NWSL games for Ertz. She was honored and given a 100th cap jersey before the game. 

In the game, Ertz was active with passes into dangerous positions. She created three chances, leading the team. Defensively, she had 11 recoveries, second on the team.

41 minutes into the game, midfielder Savannah McCaskill found Ertz at the back post, who headed it to an open Leroux, but she failed to strike it cleanly. 

Later, 58 minutes into the game, Ertz passed it to Leroux on a through ball, but before a one-on-one against the goalkeeper, Leroux was tackled to the ground by defender Katie Lind. Lind was assessed with a yellow card. Then, after a VAR check, it was changed to a red card for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO).

The free kick was in a solid position near the box. However, nothing came from it. 

Leroux and Thompson tied, leading the team with shots (three). Sunday was special for Leroux as she played a full 90 minutes for the first time since returning from an ankle injury that kept her out for 311 days.

“She looked the 90-minute fit. I checked in with her in the game and she kind of gave me that look ‘don’t you dare,” said head coach Becki Tweed. “We have her in a spot now where it’s about her performance now, but to have our 100% fit moving forward is going to be massive for us.”

Sunday was also Angel City’s second shutout of the season. Their backline did not allow a shot on goal from the Dash, helping goalkeeper DiDi Haračić to her second clean sheet of the year.

Next, Angel City plays the San Diego Wave in an NWSL Challenge Cup game. Then, they face NJ/NY Gotham FC in a regular season matchup. 

Because of the three-game week, Angel City may rely on film more in training, but Tweed is confident in their fitness.

“For us, it’s how can we perform to the best that we can every single game. So game by game is super important. Point by point is super important… Players have trained hard for the last six months for moments like this, and we’re prepared, obviously to go into Wednesday and then to Sunday,” Tweed said.

Starting Sunday, nine games remain in the regular season for Angel City to make up the difference. While taking it day by day, every point will count for them in ninth place.