The Houston Dash finally have their woman. Vera Pauw was announced as the new head coach of the Houston Dash on Tuesday. She brings in a lot of experience as both a head coach and technical director.
Pauw started her career out as a player on the field in the Netherlands. She earned 89 caps for the Netherlands national team. As a player she played for CF Modena in Italy as well as SV Saestum in the Netherlands. In 1998 she became the coach and technical director of the Scotland national team. She coached there until 2004 when she took over the Netherlands national team. In 2011 she was appointed the interim coach of Russia’s national team after three months Farid Benstiti took over as coach and Pawu shift to the role of technical director. She took over the South African national team in 2014 and served as head coach until resigning after the 2016 Olympics.
“I have worked with Vera Pauw for two and a half years and she is probably the best coach I have ever worked with in my career,” said Janine Van Wyk in a team release. The Dash defender was coached by Pauw as part of the South African national team. “What I admire most about her is her professionalism, organization and her knowledge of the game. She is able to bring out the best in every single player. I’m excited to work with her again.”
The Dash parted ways with the club’s first head coach, Randy Waldrum, in May in the middle of the 2017 NWSL season. He departed the club with a 19-39-13 record. After Waldrum’s departure assistant coach Omar Morales was named interim head coach. He finished out the 2017 season with a 6-9-2 record. The team has missed the playoffs every season since joining the league for the 2014 season.
“Of course we need to go for the playoffs, after you get to the playoffs anything can happen. The thing is you need to take it game by game and every game you have to go in to win,” said Pauw in the team release. “You have to set the strategy to win and the thing is and it is one thing I would like to discuss is if you really take yourself seriously as a league you should allow the teams to have a long preparation because playing at the top level is about creating teamwork and creating teamwork takes time, so that will be something that I would like to add – the knowledge of building from where you are already, because you have the best players, you have the best opportunities, you have the best league and all of those little things I might be able to add.”
With years of experience as a national team coach can Pauw turn the Dash into a top team in the NWSL? Let us know in the comments what you think of the hire!