The pride of H-Town women’s soccer is in for the long haul. Today Rachel Daly has signed a three year contract extension that will keep her at BBVA Stadium until 2023. The 28-year-old England international has so far spent her entire NWSL career at the Houston Dash, after being drafted sixth overall in the 2016 draft from St. John’s University. She is just one goal away from becoming the all time leading scorer in the history of the club.
The news comes just a week after the NWSL announced its Fall Series and the Dash confirmed extensions for Jane Campbell and Kristie Mewis until 2021 and 2023 respectively. The NWSL Fall Series will see the Houston Dash play in four matches, home and away, between the 12th of September and the 10th of October. The Dash will play in the South Pod alongside the North Carolina Courage and the Orlando Pride.
Extending the contract of the Challenge Cup MVP and golden boot winner is a fantastic signing for both the club and the fans. The move will help sure up the heartbeat of the team after a fragmented 2020 season. The new deal also protects the Dash captain and their club’s culture before Racing Louisville and Sacramento both look to launch franchises in 2021. “It’s a club I want to be a part of, it’s a club that I hold very close to my heart,” Daly said in a video message she shared on Twitter.
Will We See Rachel Daly again in 2020?
Whilst Daly’s long term future in Houston may have been secured, whether or not we will see her in the upcoming NWSL Fall Series remains up in the air. Daly was absent when the rest of the Dash squad reconvened for training in Houston on the 24th of August. The last time she was seen in the USA was at a private training session with David Copeland-Smith, in Los Angeles, on the 23rd of August.
Previously we’ve heard Daly talk about her intentions to play more football abroad before the 2021 NWSL season commences next April. In her contract extension video, filmed at her family home in Harrogate, UK, Daly says, “I can’t wait to be with my teammates and James...I can’t wait to start next season.” This could be a clue as to where she intends to be this Autumn.
The England Lionesses will hold their first training camp in six months on the 15th of September, they will then go on to play Germany in a friendly on the 27th of October. Due to the dangers of long-haul international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, if Daly plans on taking part then she will most likely stay in the UK until the Lioness schedule is completed.
Alternatively, the FAWSL 2020/21 season starts this Saturday, the 5th of September. If Daly was planning on joining over a dozen NWSL players by signing a loan deal with an English side, then she’s left it very late. We have previously explored some of Daly’s loan options here.
Whatever happens, a record breaking future awaits. Dash fans should look forward to having our #3 holding it down come the start of the 2021 season. Loyalty matters.