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Know Your Dash- Melissa Tancredi

Canadian veteran Melissa Tancredi among the first players allocated to the Houston Dash.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Melissa Tancredi was allocated to the Houston Dash on January 3 as the teams Canadian National team player. She has played in leagues in the U.S. and Sweden and had a long National team career as both a defender and a forward.

She spent her collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame from 2000-2004. She missed her first season due to an ACL injury that required reconstructive surgery but she was eventually awarded a fifth year of eligibility which allowed her to compete in the 2004 season. She was First and Second Team All-American in 2003 and 2004 and won BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year in back to back seasons.

From college she went on to play in the W-League for the Detroit Jaguars where she scored two goals in ten appearances. She then spent 2005-2006 playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks Women. There she scored seven goals in fifteen appearances and was named to the 2005 W-League All-League team. She eventually found her way to the WPS spending 2009 with Saint Louis Athletica before returning to the W-League. She joined the Vancouver Whitecaps and lead the team with six goals as an undefeated regular season led to a spot in the W-League's Final Four. Tancredi then signed with Swedish side Pitea IF for 2011 followed by Dalsjofors GoIF in 2012. She took off the 2013 season to complete chiropractic school.

She has an extensive resume with the Canadian Women's National team that totals 88 appearances in nine years. She played in the FIFA Women's World Cups for Canada in 2007 and 2011. In 2007 she scored the second fastest goal in Women's World Cup history just 37 seconds into their match against Australia. She played in both the Beijing Olympics as well the London Olympics the latter where Canada won the Bronze medal. While in London she scored four goal and had two assist making her one of the top scorers of the tournament.

She initially played forward at Notre Dame but made the switch to defender in 2002. She has the combination of speed and strength that makes it hard for forwards to get around her when she plays at center back. Her experience as both a defender and a forward allow her to play into the attack from the back. A strong target on set pieces she scored the majority of her college goals off set-piece headers. She will play as a forward for the Dash but has the ability to drop into the back when needed which may prove valuable as the roster takes shape. She will provide a veteran presence that will help move the Dash in a winning direction.