Houston Dash: How the Dash Were Built

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The Houston Dash have come a long way in four short months since the NWSL awarded the Houston Dynamo an expansion franchise on December 11, 2013 and Houston Dynamo President, Chris Canetti announced the name of the club the following day.

Since then, the Dash have hired a Managing Director, a coaching staff and put together a team that is ready to play in its inaugural match this coming weekend, April 12th, 2014. The first piece of the puzzle was the hiring of recently retired and hugely popular Houston Dynamo legend Brian Ching as managing director of the team on December 23rd, 2013.

On December 27th, the organization brought in some serious firepower to help with the search for a head coach and building the roster: Tony DiCicco. DiCicco is one of the biggest names in women’s soccer, having coached the U.S. national team to the 1996 gold medal in the Atlanta Olympics and the 1999 Women’s World Cup win.

On January 3, 2014, Randy Waldrum was announced as the team’s first head coach. Waldrum arrived with a top notch pedigree, having coached Notre Dame since 1999 and the United States U-23 Women’s National Team since 2012 – he had held a position on the national team coaching staff since 1992.

With Notre Dame, Waldrum won national championships in 2004 and 2010 and compiled an outstanding record of 279-50-16 (.832). The respect for Waldrum at the national level is such that he is considered a strong candidate to be the national team head coach someday (his name has actually been mentioned this week as the spot is currently open).

Waldrum indicated recently that it was the link to the Dynamo that led him to leave Notre Dame now; a strong management team in Canetti and Ching, top notch existing facilities, a stable front/back office and an established fan base.

Upon arrival Waldrum had to hit the ground quickly with national team allocations coming the same day as his appointment, the NWSL Expansion Draft a week later (January 10th) and the NWSL College Draft on January 17th. Through that process, as well as trades, open trials and international acquisitions, the Dash have put together a roster that is ready to play against the Portland Thorns this weekend.

According to Waldrum, the organization set a prototype of the kind of player they wanted to acquire. This was not built strictly on talent but also strongly considered character. Many of the players the Dash ultimately brought in had previous links to Waldrum, either at Notre Dame, the national team program or the ACC.

What follows is a summary of the players and how they were acquired as well as their uniform number.

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