Welcome back to your weekly Ebony Salmon Update. I know I’ve talked about her a lot this season, but it’s for good reason.
In fact, in speaking to Theo Lloyd-Hughes of The Striker Texas in her introductory interview, Salmon’s warning shot was “I’m taking my anger from not playing in Louisville and I’m going to show what I can do here on the pitch.”
Reader, she meant every word! From her very first game with Houston, and with just one training session under her belt, she played all 90 against Kansas City and only a brilliant goalkeeping performance from AD Franch kept her from a debut goal.
Against Chicago, she responded. Salmon dropped a 55-minute hat trick on a top-3 team with every goal scored in open play, and the scary part is that she could have scored more.
This goal was a direct result of her putting the defense under pressure in possession, causing a high turnover and receiving the ball in space for a first time shot.
One of the most obvious things about Salmon’s game is her blinding speed, but it’s her ability to utilize angles and timing that makes it devastating in and out of possession, with or without the ball — this will be a theme.
Salmon’s second goal was a combination of recognition and positioning, which allowed her to isolate one of Chicago’s three center backs for an off-shoulder run into space and smart finish. Dragging the center back wide gave space for the pass and time for her to turn the corner and beat her marker the long way around.
Her third was a product of more traditional center forward play. She recognizes the two center backs focused on the player with the ball and remains patient and onside, allowing the space to open up organically. The square pass split the defenders and Salmon had space to control the pass and quickly touch the ball beyond the keeper.
Salmon’s celebration after securing her hat trick was to put a finger to her lips in a ‘shh’, and rightly so. She warned us, and now scoreboards and record books are feeling her wrath.
(p.s. Houston Dash play Racing Louisville on August 12th and you’re gonna want to watch that.)