Leave it to the one and only Ella Masar to cause widespread panic across the women's soccer community with her thinly veiled hints at retirement dating as early as Spring 2015. The fan's unrest grew in the Dash's post-season when she posted a carefully-worded goodbye and thank-you to the Dash organization and fans. When her name was on the waiver list, few could claim to be surprised.
What was Masar up to? Everyone chimed in. Fellow teammate Haley Carter speculated she was pregnant with twins, starting a league in Canada and moving to Mars.
For anyone who missed it this morning @emasar3 is pregnant, establishing a pro league in Canada, and then moving to Mars. #thankyouella— Haley Carter (@HalesBells99) October 13, 2015
Others speculated the obvious retirement, pregnancy, an unannounced NWSL expansion into Vancouver (no really, this one needs to happen)...the list goes on. But today, it was tweeted by Hal Kaiser that Masar is instead headed to Europe to play for the 2016 season. At this point, she is currently considered 'unattached' to a NWSL team, thus allowing her to be claimed by another team.
Well, surprise, a little birdy tells me Ella is not retired. Instead she is pursuing a great opportunity to play in Europe.— Hal Kaiser (@Hal_Kaiser) October 22, 2015
One can only read between the lines of what this means for the Dash, who has long-relied on Masar's wife, goalkeeper Erin McLeod, to keep them afloat in games when the defense was less than stellar. Along with another defender, Houston may very well be looking for another goalkeeper as well.