What a way to start a week. Despite being a move that had been expected weeks ago, the trade of forward Sofia Huerta and defender Amber Brooks to Reign FC came as a surprise. It’s a gamble by the Dash giving up two key players, even if one had requested a trade (Huerta). On one hand, the trade was made for soccer reasons, yet it still falls in line with what seems to be an organizational belief that if a player asks to leave, they will accommodate. Huerta has been in Houston since arriving in exchange for Christen Press a season and a half ago and made an instant impact. Many were looking forward to what she would do in a second full season with the Dash and Rachel Daly. Now we will never know. More surprising was the moving of Brooks, a stalwart on the back line (91 appearances) who looked to be a linchpin for this year’s defense. With Brooks gone, both Dash captains have been dispatched to greener pastures, it appears.
In return for Huerta and Brooks, the Dash received Texas A&M alum and NWSL veteran forward Shea Groom, defender Megan Oyster and a conditional 2022 2nd round pick.
Oyster for Brooks is what does not seem to make a lot sense. Oyster was one of the mainstays for the Seattle based team with 20 plu starts in each of the last two seasons. Brooks, meanwhile, played every minute of every game over the last three seasons. Groom has been up and down scoring just four goals in 36 appearances over the last two seasons.
What does all this mean? It likely means that there are plenty more moves to come in an obvious rebuild, acquiring players that head coach James Clarkson believes can turn this club into more of a playoff contender then pretender. It is highly possible that this is a temporary pit stop for Groom, especially with the moves thus far. Also, the Dash still have a bevy of international signing possibilities, although nothing specific to mention at this moment.
Time will tell the impact this trade will have.
Into their third week of pre-season under first year head coach Tab Ramos, the Dynamo will take their show on the road to the Rio Grande Valley. One night after Canada and Mexico will meet to see who wins Group B of the Women’s Olympic Qualifying at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, the Dynamo will step on the pitch to face Texas A&M in a free to the public scrimmage. They will return to the field on Saturday to face the Toros, Houston’s USL affiliated team.
Although not a big test, it will provide a chance for the men to get a run out against someone other then themselves. The real test comes the next weekend at the Tucson Sun Cup. Houston will face off in the second game of a soccer doubleheader on February 15th against the New York Red Bulls. A week later they will meet Columbus Crew SC, also in Tucson.