Wednesday, the Houston Dash’s Melissa Henderson announced that she would be retiring from soccer (again) after five seasons playing in the NWSL. Henderson retired at the end of the 2015 season but came back before the start of the 2016 season. The forward made 37 appearances for the Dash and tallied two assists after coming to the club from FCKC. Houston picked up Henderson through a trade with Kansas City in the summer of 2014. She made 22 regular season appearances with FCKC in 2013-14 season, and scored one goal in the 2013 NWSL playoffs.
The Texas native played for Notre Dame in college under former Dash head coach Randy Waldum and was part of the 2010 NCAA National Championship team. She left the school tied for the fourth most goals in school history with 70 goals.
Henderson posted the following good bye to the Dash team website on Wednesday:
With a heavy, yet peaceful heart, I close a chapter of my life that has brought me so much joy these last 23 years. To my teammates and coaches, thank you. Thank you for blessing me with some of the most incredible memories that I’ll truly cherish forever.
To all the fans who in my eyes became friends and that I will hold a special place in my heart and I hope to stay connected with you all!
To the Dash/Dynamo organization, thank you. Thank you to everyone behind the scenes that make our dream a reality. Your work and long hours don’t go unnoticed and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to each of you.
Lastly, to my family and friends, thank you. You have been a part of Gods journey for me from the beginning. Your love, support and encouragement have become my backbone throughout my career. But, most importantly, thank you Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to share your word and use your platform not to gain but to give. As I leave this game you blessed me with the ability to play, I have a tremendous amount of peace. With you as my light, I will not be led astray.
“Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Henderson’s departure makes it so that the Dash can have Carli Lloyd return to the roster without having to waive a player. Lloyd has spent the first part of the season playing with Manchester City and the Dash, prior to Wednesday announcement, had 20 players on their roster, the maximum allowed. The retirement takes the roster to 19 creating a slot for Lloyd.
Henderson has been a fan favorite in Houston since she joined the team. Fans were elated when she came back in the 2016 season. This time around Henderson really is hanging up her cleats.