By CAITLIN MURRAY
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd has been playing some of the best club soccer of her life for the Western New York Flash. But now, she’ll continue her club career with the Houston Dash.
Lloyd will join the Dash while USWNT defender Whitney Engen and midfielder Becky Edwards, who was set for a USWNT call-up last year before injury, will join the Flash, where they both won a championship in 2011. The Dash will also hand over the third round pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, the clubs announced Thursday.
The acquisition of Lloyd is a big move for the Dash, the Dynamo’s expansion into the National Women’s Soccer League. Lloyd has 15 goals and 8 assists over two seasons with the Flash as one of the team’s top scorers. With the USWNT, Lloyd has 176 caps for 51 goals.
The Dash struggled in their inaugural 2014 year, finishing in last place and scoring just 23 goals in 22 games — the worst in the league. Lloyd, who is currently with the USWNT for World Cup qualifiers, is a much-needed scoring threat for the Dash as they rebuild.
The Flash finished 2014 without making the playoffs, a disappointment for a club that had lost in the championship the season prior. Engen and Edwards will be a boost as the team lost key pieces over the past year.
“I’m excited about the acquisitions,” said Flash coach Aaran Lines in a statement. “We thought this was a move that would strengthen our roster. We’re in a rebuilding phase as we look to get back to where we want to be.”
The 2015 schedule for the NWSL is not yet set, but USWNT players are expected to miss a significant number of club games in preparation for the World Cup in Canada, which may help explain why the Flash are willing to lose one of their top players.
What do you think of this trade? Will Carli Lloyd be able to help the Houston Dash turn things around? How do you see Whitney Engen and Becky Edwards doing with the Flash?
Share your thoughts below.