NWSL – Who Are Ya? – Camp Invitee Mini-Dossier – Houston Dash

Houston Dash

Taryne Boudreau – MF/D – Houston Aces (LSU) – Former Canadian youth international stayed local in competing with the Aces following her LSU career. Form was temperamental throughout her stay in Baton Rouge but was great as a senior with twelve goals in 2011. Has a rocket of a shot. Versatility helps her chances, though she’ll probably be a defensive midfielder at this level. Still a longshot due to international status.

Sara Campbell – F – Seattle Sounders (Montana) – Former star forward with Montana collegiately joins up from W-League Sounders, where she played eleven games last season. Scoring record there (four goals in 2013) and at previous stop in Sweden wasn’t great, but she’s versatile and experienced, so she has a slight chance of sticking around.

Haley Carter – GK – Navy – I haven’t been able to find out much info on Carter, though I think she was discussed by Randy Waldrum on the Keeper Notes podcast. She’s an alum of the Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps officer, but I can’t find any record of her in the NCAA’s records. If she makes it, Carter’s obviously a great story, but she’s the longest of longshots.

Karenee Demery – F – Cal State Stanislaus – Division II scoring machine for Cal State Stanislaus isn’t exactly a newcomer to the scene having been given a look at U23 level under Waldrum before. Tallied a career best twenty-one goals as a senior for Warriors en route to NSCAA DII Player of the Year honors. Upside is through the roof, and Waldrum may want to keep her in Houston, knowing someone else may well gamble on that upside should he let her go.

Lindsay Elston – MF – Washington – Former U.S. youth international looked like a Hermann Trophy contender for the first half of 2012…and then opponents figured out that the Huskies didn’t have anyone else on offense that could hit the broad side of a barn. Zero goals on forty-eight shots this year saw her tumble out of the draft, but she still has a lot of upside now that she isn’t carrying an offense on her back. Could be a real steal for a team needing midfield depth.

Anisa Guajardo – F – Pepperdine – Seemed destined to be the punchline of a very bad joke after seeing zero minutes of action despite being an allocated player for Mexico and being on a Boston side that featured the likes of the forgettable Kate Howarth, Lisa-Marie Woods, and Libby Guess at times in attack. Gets a second chance here but Dash not short on young attacking talent at the moment.

Holly Hein – D – Michigan – Had a trying college career that included serious injury in 2010 followed by a successful fight against thyroid cancer a year later. Came back with a vengeance for her final two seasons with the Wolverines, turning into one of the nation’s best center-backs. Was a borderline draft pick in a stacked class, and given Dash’s defensive depth problems, has a good chance at sticking.

Katie Kelly – D – FC Kansas City (Marquette) – Getting the axe from FCKC seems a bit odd now when you consider that her former club isn’t exactly swimming with defensive depth. Their loss could be a big gain for the Dash, who desperately need the experience and versatility Kelly brings to the table. Able to play on either flank, Kelly’s not going to be a star at this level, but for a club with so few options with pro experience early this year, she might be a necessity.

Megan Kinneman – GK – LSU – Highly touted coming into college ranks but never really developed into anything more than an above average keeper with LSU. Vastly undersized for this level and probably not athletic enough to overcome her slight stature. Might hang around as a third option in case of international call-ups but isn’t going to beat Henninger for backup role.

Megan Link – GK – Afturelding (ISL) (Southwest Baptist) – Dark horse Missouri native was a small school stud with tiny Southwest Baptist from 2009-2012. Hopped over to Iceland for a season to begin her pro career and has a good deal of upside. Could be worth keeping tabs on as a prospect to develop down the road.

Tori McCombs – MF/D – Michigan – Little spark plug is a heady player that has adapted well to anything thrown in front of her in a great career for the Wolverines. Plays a lot bigger than her slight box score stats and has the versatility to play just about anywhere in midfield or out wide in defense. Could play left-back in the backline, but might be too good going forward to not stick in midfield. Another who could blossom at this level.

Kelly McFarlane – MF – North Carolina – Swiss army knife for the Tar Heels showed ability to play out on the flank or at the base of the midfield in the 3-4-3 for UNC. Not a particularly dynamic player but a versatile one who has nice size and who has been battle tested against the very best college soccer has to offer. Has a chance for a side needing some bodies in midfield this season.

Valorie O’Brien – D – Selfoss (ISL) (South Florida) – Ex-Bull has probably lasted longer in the professional game than most would have figured after a relatively unexceptional college career with USF. Found a niche in Iceland, playing significant minutes with Selfoss before heading back stateside for a shot at this level. European experience and ability to play in defense or midfield should help her chances.

Emilee O’Neill – D – Portland Thorns (Stanford) – Was last year’s most surprising story coming out of preseason, as the Stanford alum hadn’t done much professionally in soccer since graduating after the 2004(!) season. Defied the odds in making Portland’s active roster, seeing action in a handful of games. Chances aren’t great she’ll be here for the long haul, but club needs defenders with any pro experience early, so she’s got a shot.

Dominique Richardson – MF – Missouri – Looked like rounding into one of nation’s best central midfielders after a great junior season but hit a wall this past season as a senior. Found a home at defensive midfielder for the Tigers but also packed a little bit of offensive punch as well. Is she big enough (5’6″) to be a holder at this level? May need to be more of a box-to-box, energy midfielder in the 4-3-3 here to stick.

Kylie Strom – MF – Boston University – Looked to be on a fast track to stardom with BU after eleven goals and twelve assists in two seasons with the Terriers. Had a poor junior season though and probably did just about enough as a senior for BU to get a shot in camp. Good size and coming from a program that develops good players, but the offense drying up her final two seasons has to be a concern going forward.

Catiana Vitanza – MF – Como (None) – A weird story to say the least. Californian and her twin sister skipped college soccer to head abroad and try their luck professionally in Serbia and Italy. Last played as a defender with Como in Italy, though she’ll probably try her luck at defensive midfielder here. A serious longshot, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

Best Bets: Kelly, Elston, Demery, McCombs, Hein

One thought on “NWSL – Who Are Ya? – Camp Invitee Mini-Dossier – Houston Dash

  1. Forgedias

    I’m willing to bet many of those players you listed will be playing for the Houston Aces if they don’t make the team. From what Waldrum said, the Dash and the Aces have a working relationship where the Dash can send players over to them to train and play and then they can recall them when players go off for international duties. Those players will have to stay as amateurs though since you can only recalled amateurs to the pro club.


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