Dash continue to build roster ahead of April season opener
The Houston Dash selected ten players in the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft earlier today, including three allocated national team members: Meghan Klingenberg (USA), Arianna Romero (Mexico) and Lauren Sesselmann (Canada).
The selections include four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. The Dash roster currently stands at 13 players, including allocated national team players Whitney Engen (USA), Teresa Noyola (Mexico) and goalkeeper Erin McLeod (Canada).
“I am extremely excited about the players we acquired in today’s expansion draft,” said Dash head coach Randy Waldrum. “We got every player we wanted, which is highly unusual. It’s a great blend of positional needs that we have, of youth and athleticism that we want, as well as high character women who will be great role models in our community. The roster will continue to unfold in the next week or so, but we obtained a great core of players to begin this process.”
“We were lucky to get everyone that we wanted and feel that we are going to have an extremely competitive team,” said Dash managing director Brian Ching. “Between Randy and Tony (DiCicco), I know that we had left no stone unturned.”
With the first pick, the Dash selected midfielder Brittany Bock from SkyBlue FC. Bock, 26, helped the University of Notre Dame reach the Women’s College Cup in three straight seasons (2006-2008) and was a captain under current Dash head coach Randy Waldrum. Bock’s professional career includes stints with Vittsjo GIK (Sweden), Colorado Rush (W-League), Western New York Flash (WPS), Washington Freedom (WPS) and Los Angeles Sol (WPS). The Naperville, Ill. native was also a member of the U.S. U-23 and U-20 women’s national team player pools.
The Dash selected forward Tiffany McCarty of the Washington Spirit with the second pick. McCarty, 23, appeared in 21 games (12 starts) and scored two goals with the Spirit in 2013 before she joined Albirex Niigata Ladies (Japan) on loan in September. The Laurel, Md. native was the second overall selection in the inaugural NWSL draft in 2013 after a standout career at Florida State University, where she reached two Women’s College Cups and was a two-time All-ACC selection. McCarty spent three seasons with the Washington Freedom (W-League) and a season with Pali Blues (W-League).
With the third pick, Houston selected defender Laura Sesselmann of FC Kansas City. The 30-year-old is a fixture for the Canada women’s national team, starting six games at the 2012 Summer Olympics as Canada won the bronze medal. The Green Bay, Wis., native played with F.C. Indiana (W-League), Sky Blue FC (WPS) and Atlanta Beat (WPS) after starring at Purdue University.
With the next selection, the Dash picked midfielder Meleana Shim of Portland Thorns FC. Shim, 22, was named Newcomer of the Year with the Thorns as a rookie in 2013. The Honolulu, Hawaii native scored five goals and added two assists in 19 games (17 starts) to help Portland on its way to the league title. The Santa Clara University product has played with the U.S. U-23 women’s national team.
The Dash selected forward Ella Masar of the Chicago Red Stars with its fifth pick. The Urbana, Ill. native scored three goals and added two assists in 20 games (14 starts) with Chicago last season. Masar, 27, spent two seasons with Paris Saint-Germain (France) after stints with magicJack (WPS), the Red Stars, Washington Freedom (WPS), Vancouver Whitecaps (W-League), Chicago Gaels (W-League) and Windy City Bluez (W-League). The University of Illinois product was a member of the U.S. U-23 and U-21 women’s national teams and made an appearance with the senior team in 2009.
With the sixth choice, Houston selected defender Meghan Klingenberg of the Boston Breakers. The Gibsonia, Pa. native has made six appearances with the U.S. national team after gaining experience at the youth levels. Klingenberg, 25, spent the last two seasons with Swedish club champion Tyreso FF after time with the Boston Breakers (WPS), and magicJack (WPS). In four seasons at the University of North Carolina, she won two NCAA national championships.
Next, the Dash selected defender Arianna Romero of Seattle Reign FC. Romero, 22, is a member of the Mexico women’s national team. Romero completed her college career at the University of Nebraska in 2013 and was named Big 10 Defender of the Year and an NSCAA All-American (second-team). The Surprise, Ariz. native was a member of the Mexico U-20 women’s national team before joining the senior team in 2011.
Houston selected midfielder Becky Edwards of Thorns FC with its eight pick. The 25-year-old was named Portland’s Community Player of the Year in 2013 for her role in community events. After twice garnering NSCAA All-American honors at Florida State University, Edwards played with FC Gold Pride (WPS), Western New York Flash (WPS), Hammarby IF DFF (Sweden) and Kristianstads DFF (Sweden). The Downingtown, Pa. native was captain of the U.S. U-20 national team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
With the ninth pick, the Dash selected forward Danesha Adams of Sky Blue FC. Adams, 27, scored three goals and added three assists in 21 games (20 starts) with Sky Blue FC in 2013. The Shaker Heights, Ohio native helped lead UCLA to four consecutive Women’s College Cup appearances from 2004-07.
The Dash selected defender Gabriella Toulouse of the Washington Spirit with its final pick. Toulouse, 24, appeared in 16 games (9 starts) with Washington in 2013. The University of Virginia product spent the 2012 season with Ragsveds IF (Sweden). The Arlington, Va. native played with the U.S. U-23 national team in 2012.
2014 NWSL Expansion Draft – Results
1 – Brittany Bock (SBFC)
2 – Tiffany McCarty (WAS)
3 – Lauren Sesselmann (FCKC)
4 – Meleana Shim (PTFC)
5 – Ella Masar (CRS)
6 – Meghan Klingenberg (BOS)
7 – Arianna Romero (SRFC)
8 – Becky Edwards (PTFC)
9 – Danesha Adams (SBFC)
10 – Gabriella Toulouse (WAS)
The Dash will continue to build their roster, beginning with the 2014 NWSL College Draft on Friday, Jan. 17 at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention in Philadelphia.
The league’s second annual college draft will consist of a total of 36 selections made over four rounds, the order for which was originally set by reverse finish at the end of the 2013 NWSL regular season. As the lone expansion club to join the NWSL this season, the Dash will have the second pick in the first-round as well as the first pick in the second, third and fourth-rounds of the College Draft. For the complete College Draft order, click here.
Season tickets are on sale now for the Dash’s inaugural season. To purchase a package or for more information on 2014 season tickets, visit www.HoustonDashSoccer.com/tickets or call 713-276-GOAL.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON DASH
The Houston Dash are a National Women’s Soccer League club that will begin play in April 2014 for the start of the league’s second season. The Dash are the first expansion club in the NWSL, joining the eight original members that launched the league in 2013. The NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation. It is the top-flight women’s professional soccer league in North America, featuring many of the top players from the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as talent from around the world. The 24-game regular season runs from April through August. The team trains at Houston Sports Park (HSP), the premier training facility in Southeast Texas, and plays at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston. For more information, visit www.HoustonDynamo.com/HoustonDash or call (713) 276-GOAL.