The Houston Dash announced today the team has acquired defender Niki Cross from the Washington Spirit. The deal was made via an exchange for Dash defender Arianna Romero, a press release from the club stated.
Twenty-nine year old Cross appeared in 10 matches for Washington in the 2014 season, with 8 of those being starts. She joined the Spirit in June from Bayern Munich. She had originally been signed by Seattle reign FC prior to the start of the 2014 season, but was then traded to Washington.
"I am really excited to have Niki join the Dash family. I've known Niki since her days playing at UConn and always thought highly of her play," Houston Dash head coach Randy Waldrum said. "She has developed into a very good center back, and one with international experience. With so many players missing for the 2015 Women's World Cup, she fills a big need for us."
A native of Brockton, Mass., Cross graduated from the University of Connecticut and began her career in 2008 with Umea Sodra FF in Sweden. She then returned to the United States and signed with Saint Louis Athletica for the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer season. Cross then signed with FC Gold Pride half way through the 2010 season, after the Saint Louis team folded. FC Gold Pride would go on to win the WPS Championship that year.
After that, Cross spent time with the Newcastle Jets (Australian W-League), the Boston Breakers (WPS) and Medkila IL (Swedish Damallsvenskan) before joining Bayern Munich in 2012.
Upon joining Bayern, Cross made an immediate impact, starting the semifinal and final matches of the 2011-12 Frauen DFB Pokal en route to the club's first major trophy since 1976. As a center back, she scored twice in the semifinal victory over FFC Frankfurt. Cross went on to clock 43 league appearances (40 starts) and score three goals in her two and a half seasons with Bayern.
Mexican international Romero was acquired by the Dash in the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft. The 24-year-old appeared in 21 games (with 19 being starts) as an outside back in her rookie season.
Niki Cross stats:
Date of Birth: May 5, 1985
Birthplace: Brockton, Massachusetts
Previous club: Washington Spirit