The Houston Dash made another brilliant move in the NWSL soccer world late Monday afternoon announcing the acquisition of midfielder Sofia Huerta and Taylor Comeau in a deal with the Chicago Red Stars.
Part of a three team deal, Houston transferred the rights to former Chicago Red Star and national team forward and current Swedish club IFK Goteberg forward Christen Press along with the Dash’s natural first round pick in the 2020 NWSL College draft in exchange for midfielder Sofia Huerta and Taylor Comeau. Chicago then traded Press rights along with defender Samantha Johnson to the Utah Royals for five draft picks and defender Brooke Elly.
The new players including Claire Polkinghorn (signed June 7, 2018) arrived in Houston on Tuesday and immediate preparations began to get them acclimated to the team so as to be available for selection on Friday against the Portland Thorns FC.
“Yesterday was very busy with the new players coming in, “ began Dash head coach Vera Pauw. “All had to be done and arranged in one day. I am very excited with the trade we have made, but as excited about the signing of Clare Polkinghorne.”
For Houston, the trade not only brings immediate dividends but sends a message to the rest of the league. Going into the FIFA break, there was no hotter team in the NWSL then Houston. Huerta, who should be available for selection Friday night’s home game versus the Portland Thorns FC, brings Houston another offensive weapon. Last August, Stephanie Young writing for the website Fourfourtwo.com illustrated the dynamic combination of Press and Huerta during their time together in Chicago. Together, the article paints a picture of their 2017 season when they had 11 goals and seven assists, out of Chicago’s 20 goals and 12 assists, total as of August 4th, 2017. They accounted for 94 out of 167 shots (56.2 percent), and they had 51 out of 84 shots on goal (60.7 percent). Perhaps the biggest tribute to Huerta and Press in the article was the final line reading “it’s not just that they’re individually good; it’s that in combination they provide a threat bigger than themselves.”
“It gives stability, versatility and power to the team,” continued Pauw in an exclusive with DynamoTheory.com.
Imagine now what a combination of Rachel Daly, Kealia Ohai and Huerta will look like. Does the word unstoppable come to mind? After all, the Daly and Ohai combination has been pretty lethal since early May. Daly, named NWSL Player of the Month, scored four goals in six games. Ohai has two goals in May giving the two six goals in six games. Huerta arrives with 3 goals and 2 assists through 11 games in 2018. Through her NWSL career, the Boise, Idaho native has 22 goals and 11 assists in 74 appearances for Chicago. With the loss of Kristi Mewis, Huerta instantly gives Houston that attacking mid and the flexibility for a player such as Linda Mothalo to pick her moments to counter when on the pitch.
“There will be huge competition for the positions on the pitch,” continued Pauw. “No one is guaranteed a place in the line-up anymore and that is a very healthy situation for a professional team in which teamwork is key.”
Taylor Comeau, even at just 24 years old brings a toughness to the Houston Dash that may equal that of Allysha Chapman. During her professional career which has included a variety of stops, the Los Gatos, California native has played both defending mid and outside most notably in Chicago. Don’t be surprised to see Chapman on one side and Comeau on the other come Friday night’s match with Portland at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston has continued to add players who bring veteran experience and leadership and more importantly success at winning. This to team full of athletes with skill sets beyond compare and egos to match yet at the same time humility and understanding in knowing they haven’t accomplished anything yet.
“The best (thing about the moves) is that our younger top players can develop without being burned out,” concluded Pauw. “The very well known, but very true saying “no one is bigger than the team/club” can kick in and that is step we need as base for success. This team is now ready for the future.”