Ebony Salmon is proving people wrong and taking the Houston Dash to new heights

Quick Hits
  • After spending a lot of time on the bench for Racing Louisville FC earlier this season, Ebony Salmon has found real success with the Houston Dash in 2022
  • Since being traded to Houston, Salmon has been one of the most prolific goalscorers in the entire NWSL
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Ebony Salmon just wasn’t getting on the field. 

She played 97 minutes across five regular season games for Racing Louisville FC before being traded to the Houston Dash in June. Now, after 11 appearances for the Dash, Salmon has racked up 10 times as many minutes for Houston as she did for Louisville. She’s using all of that time to show Racing why they shouldn’t have kept her on the bench. 

Salmon’s goalscoring

Salmon has scored nine goals in her time with the Dash this year, a total that’s good enough to put her on the edges of this year’s Golden Boot race.

She even scored her first NWSL hat trick earlier this year, becoming the youngest player in league history to do so at just 21 years old. She’s been an excellent goalscorer for Houston, averaging 0.89 goals per 96 minutes as a striker for the Dash, which is the second highest rate in the entire NWSL among players with at least 500 minutes. 

The one player ahead of her? Alex Morgan.

Salmon is averaging 0.46 expected goals per 96 minutes with Houston, which puts her in the top 10 players with at least 500 minutes in the league this year. She’s outperforming her xG by more than any other player, but her underlying numbers are still strong. Salmon’s goalscoring in Houston has even attracted the attention of the England women’s national team.

She earned a call up to the Lionesses squad earlier in September after not having been part of the team since 2021.

Filling Daly’s shoes

Speaking of the England women’s national team, it’s worth mentioning that Salmon came to the Dash in the wake of English international and long-time Dash captain Rachel Daly’s absence for the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro. Daly played what would be her last game with the Dash in early June, because she ultimately left Houston mid-season to join Aston Villa FC of the Barclay Women’s Super League after the Euros. 

Lucky for Houston, though, Salmon is filling the Daly-sized hole in Houston’s attack. She’s leading the Dash in shots (3.36), shots on target (2.08), and goals (0.89) per 96 minutes among players with at least 500 minutes in the regular season. Salmon’s nine goals make up 27% of Houston’s 33 goals this season, too. 

Suffice to say that this Dash team would not be in the NWSL Shield hunt if Salmon was still stuck in Louisville. 

Right now, the Houston Dash are on the brink of making history. With their most recent win over the Chicago Red Stars, which featured a Salmon game-winner, they’ve tied their single-season win record (9). It’s likely the Dash will break their win record before the season’s end as they compete for the NWSL Shield. And as their season comes down to the wire, we should be keeping an eye on Salmon as a potential difference-maker in the Dash’s playoff push.

Data courtesy of American Soccer Analysis.