The new year has begun and the Houston soccer scene was all abuzz this week with news of the team dealing away fan favorite and team captain Kealia Ohai to the Chicago Red Stars. What many fans may not know is that Ohai requested the trade according to multiple reports. It looks like this was a move Ohai sought and the Dash acquiesced.
What did Ohai know that others did not? Did the team tell her that she no longer fit into their plans? Did the forward feel that after giving her heart and soul to the organization that the window for her to win an NWSL title was closing? Did the first ever pick for the franchise realize Houston was not going to be in a position again to win a title in the coming seasons?
Sadly all of the above is possibly true. From the first time I interviewed her following her first practice with the Dash, it was easy to tell that this was a great person. She wanted to come to Houston, her sister was married to former Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, and it was where she found true love in Texans star, and her now fiance, JJ Watt. You won’t find a more caring and transparent person on or off the pitch. Not once, despite some extremely disappointing moments, was she ever beyond approach or unwilling to speak to the media. She will be missed for more then her game. May Captain K have much success in Chicago, just not at the expense of the Houston Dash.
The Houston Dynamo made a news splash of their own this week, signing academy product Marcelo Palomino to a home grown player contract. A three time player of the year in the Academy, the 18 year old is no stranger to Houston Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos, having been on the U-18 2018 and most recently a part of two friendlies under Ramos on the U-20 side. If Palomino becomes can gel with another homegrown, Memo Rodriguez, Houston will be well positioned for years to come.
It’s only a matter of time now before the Houston Dynamo kick off their 2020 campaign under Ramos. Saturday, January 18 is when the Men in Orange will begin their preseason. Mark your calendar.