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How to watch the Houston Dash vs Chicago Red Stars

How to watch the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup opener between the Dash and Red Stars on Friday, April 9

April 8, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
The Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars will headline the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup on opening day on Friday in a replay of the final in the first edition.

CBS Sports Network will broadcast the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup opener between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET in the USA and Canada. The game will be live-streamed internationally for free on Twitch and will not be available on Paramount+.

Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Houston Dash enters the tournament as the reigning champs, having taken down the Chicago Red Stars in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Final. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt and forward Shea Groom were the scorers in that final on July 26, 2020.

The Dash will be missing six players who are on international duty. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell and forward Kristie Mewis are on the USWNT's European trip to face Sweden and France. Canada's Allysha Chapman, Sophie Schmidt and Nichelle Prince are gearing up to face Wales and England. Lastly, Rachel Daly got a call-up from English National Team caretaker Hege Riise and will be representing the Lionesses against France and Canada.

Manager James Clarkson is likely to choose experienced goalkeeper Lindsey Harris over 22-year-old Amanda Harris to replace Campbell. Also, newcomers Annika Schmidt, Joelle Anderson, Makamae Gomera-Stevens, Emily Ogle and Gabby Seiler will be looking to make their competitive debut wearing H-Town colors.

Attacking midfielder Shea Groom, who was key in Houston's success in the 2020 Challenge Cup, will lead the team on Friday. Groom will play alongside forwards Veronica Latsko, Katie Stengel and Brianna Visalli, midfielder Haley Hanson, and defenders Katie Naughton and Megan Oyster. Groom is a national team caliber player who scored three goals in the tournament last year, including her first goal for the Dash against the now-defunct Utah Royals.

On the other side of the coin, the Chicago Red Stars are seeking revenge on opening day. A win on Friday would fill the void left from the defeat in 2020 and set the team up nicely for a competition where only the top sides of the East and West make it to the final.

Like the Dash, the Red Stars are missing some of their biggest stars in goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Tierna Davidson and midfielder Julie Ertz, who are representing the USWNT. Defender Bianca St. Georges will also miss the match as she recovers from knee surgery.

Forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Sarah Woldmoe arrived from Gotham FC (formerly Sky Blue FC) in December. However, Pugh will not be playing while Woldmoe looks to make her debut on Friday. On the other hand, returning players Rachel Hill, Casey Krueger, Vanessa DiBernardo, Danielle Colaprico, Kayla Sharples, Katie Johnson and Kealia Watt are looking to be named in the starting lineup.

Head Coach Rory Dames will have the task to choose from Casie Miller or Emily Boyd at the goalkeeper position. Boyd, 24, looks to be the better option being a three-year veteran with the Red Stars compared to Miller's one year.

Broadcast information for 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup opener between the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars

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