Bill O'Brien Not the Only New Coach in Town as Houston Dash Make First Hire
The Houston Dash, Houston's new National Women's Soccer League team created on December 13, have only a few short months to get a team together from scratch before their inaugural game in March.
The Dash landed their man to lead their ladies.
The first order of business was to find a head coach. Monday morning, they officially announced Randy Waldrum was the man to lead them.
"As a native Texan, I'm extremely excited to come home and begin this new challenge of building a great professional women's soccer team with the Houston Dash," Waldrum said Monday afternoon at a press conference at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Waldrum was plucked away from Notre Dame University, where he was the winningest coach in the school's history. He led the Lady Irish to a pair of National Championships - in 2004 and 2010.
If you're wondering about his playing style, Waldrum has leaned toward the 4-3-3 formation with the Irish. He does, however that the formation depends more on the players he has available to him.
Dash receive first three players
The NWSL is set up a bit differently when it comes to player salaries. The league was created by the soccer federations of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. All three leagues subsidize their players salaries, taking some of the financial burden off of the clubs.
As a result, the federations spread out their players evenly amongst the clubs in the NWSL. Over the weekend, the Dash learned the names of the three players the federations allocated to them.
The US sent defender Whitney Engen, Mexico sent attaking midfielder Teresa Noyola, and Canada sent forward Melissa Tancredi. The three players create the spine of the Dash's team.
I am so excited to be joining the @HoustonDash for the 2014 NWSL season! Thank you all for being so welcoming!— Whitney Engen (@whitneyengen) January 3, 2014
Now, the Dash will await the expansion draft on Friday, where they can take unprotected players from the other eight clubs.
Engen pre-occupied before Dash debut
Which might be a while. She'll be with the US Women's National Team later this week in preparation for their first pair of qualifiers in 2014. After that, she's back to Europe where she'll finish out her contract with Tyresö FF in Damallsvenskan. Engen will remain in Europe until her club is eliminated from the UEFA Women's Champions League.
Houston men also join the Nats
Big brother club Dynamo also have a pair of players joining the US National Team. Brad Davis and Tally Hall will join men's team for their annual January camp.
With the FIFA World Cup around the corner this is possibly the last opportunity for the pair to make an impression on Jurgen Klinnsman.