Houston Dash coach Randy Waldrum and FC Dallas coach Ben Waldrum have always been on the same sidelines and teams – until now. The father son duo will be facing off as their teams take on each other at Bishop Lynch High school this Saturday night at 7pm. This will be the first time that they are not alongside each other and to them, it’s a very special moment.
“I was fortunate enough to have Ben on my staff at Notre Dame for five years where we won a national championship which is rare,” Randy said. “I think this is going to be one more of those benchmark moments we have as a family to get to do together.”
If you’re wondering whether there will be some rivalry and unspoken competition between the two, Ben said there’s always that.
“He’s been a great mentor, but from a planning perspective I don’t think there will be many secrets going into the game,” he said.
Randy started his coaching career with the Dash just this past season when the Houston Dynamo franchise decided to create a women’s team only about 6 months ago which was only a week or two before the college draft for the fledgling WPSL. As far the team’s performance and how the season has gone so far, he is happy but knows things can be better.
“Considering how late we started everything, I’m pretty pleased with where we are,” Randy said. “We’ve been really competitive in every game all year.”
The Dash currently sit in seventh place out of the nine-team NWSL, but after a tough start, results have been majorly trending up recently. Houston has won three out of their last four to pull themselves within six points of the fourth and final playoff spot with 11 games left in their 2014 season.
FC Dallas’ U-23 ECNL women’s team has only played a few sanctioned games this season so facing the Dash this weekend will be a challenge, especially considering how the players are coming and going. This has been one the obstacles that Ben is worried about coming into the game on Saturday night.
“We have about 30 players in the mix, but it’s hard to get this group organized with players coming and going,” Ben said. “They [the Dash] have been practicing together since April so they’ll be a fluid unit and know exactly what they’re doing together.”
Saturday's match is the first opportunity for soccer fans to see a women’s pro team in Dallas and both coaches are hoping people come out and support because it is important that the community helps the women’s game grow as a whole. Recently, US Women's National Team fans have sold out Toyota Stadium for matches against New Zealand and Canada, so Saturday's match gives the fans another opportunity to prove that women's soccer at the professional level is viable in north Texas.
“It’s a good opportunity to show not only the FC Dallas ownership but other potential owners in Dallas that a women’s pro soccer team would be great to have along with the FC Dallas’ men’s team," said Waldrum.
It’s also a special night for Randy because he is being honored before the game by the Irving Independent School District. He first started his coaching career at MacArthur High school where he was also a student and won a soccer state championship.
“The Irving ISD are recognizing me and inducting me into their athletic hall of fame so it’s a really big honor because they gave me my first real start in coaching,” he said.
The match kicks off at 7:30PM on Saturday night at Roffino Stadium, just east of White Rock Lake. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased HERE using code "ECNL"