Christen Press didn’t like the way she was traded to Houston, and has officially turned the page on it.
Press will head to Sweden for a stint with Goteborg, saying the move is for the betterment of her career, putting on ice a saga that saw her refute the team-explained timeline for her trade from Chicago to Houston en route to refusing the move altogether.
Press, 29, played with Goteborg in 2012. She is two caps from 100 in her career with the USWNT, for whom she’s scored 44 goals. She has scored 35 goals in 60 NWSL games after returning from Tyreso following a tremendous 43-goal season in 2013.
Perhaps while there she can have a dinner with Mix Diskerud and share bitter thoughts about how soccer transfers work on our shores, for better or worse.
For reasons that are clear to me and for the betterment of my career I have chosen to play overseas this season. I respect and appreciate the opportunity that Houston afforded me. Thank you to everyone supporting me through these tough decisions I've had to make for my career.
“Soccer is an evolving sport here in the U.S. with a unique background, and I am very excited about the opportunity ahead to work with a very talented roster,” Pauw said in a statement released by the team. “We have a solid core of players that will be key in reaching our goals for 2018 and beyond.”
U.S. national team star Carli Lloyd and Canada’s Janine Beckie are among Pauw’s players on Houston’s roster. She replaces Randy Waldrum, who mutually parted ways with the Dash in May.
As a player, Paul had 89 appearances with the Netherlands before her retirement in 1998.
Dynamo, Dash reschedule weekend games due to Hurricane Harvey
Ahead of the impending landfall of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash have both rescheduled matches that were set to take place this weekend.
Hurricane Harvey is reportedly bringing upwards of three feet of rain and heavy winds to the Southeast Texas area, and travel around Houston and areas along the Gulf Coast are expected to be difficult.
“Under the circumstances, the clear and obvious decision is to reschedule these matches. The most important thing is the safety of our community,” said Dynamo and Dash president Chris Canetti. “I appreciate the support of MLS, NWSL, Sporting Kansas City and the North Carolina Courage in working through this difficult situation with us. On behalf of the Dynamo, Dash and BBVA Compass Stadium, we wish for everyone’s utmost safety and security throughout the storm.”
The Dynamo were set to take on Sporting KC while the Dash were to face the North Carolina Courage. The Dynamo’s match has been rescheduled to October 11. There’s no rescheduled date for the Dash’s match.
Carli Lloyd discusses time at Man City, state of USWNT and more
The U.S. Women’s National Team star has done it all. From helping the U.S. hoist the FIFA Women’s World Cup title in 2015 to being named the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Lloyd has seen her stardom grow over the years, and that’s what brought the 35-year-old midfielder to Manchester City this past season.
Lloyd had proven herself on the international level with the USWNT and domestically in the NWSL and WPS (prior to that), but when an opportunity came knocking to complete a loan spell in England, it simply wasn’t something she could pass up.
“I’ve always wanted to go overseas to play, but it had to be the right fit,” Lloyd told reporters on Sunday prior to the New York Derby. “The door opened up to go and play for Manchester City and all the stars aligned.
“It’s been a great organization to fight for, to work for and kind of see the evolution of all their teams.”
Lloyd played an important role for the Lady Citizens during her spell with the club, scoring three goals in 10 matches across all competitions and helping guide Man City to an FA Women’s Cup title — where she scored in the final.
The Manchester City also fell just short of Champions League glory in 2017, losing 3-2 on aggregate in the semifinals to fellow American Alex Morgan and Lyon — who went on to win the competition.
Morgan also spent time in Europe this season on loan in France, but has since returned to her Orlando Pride club in NWSL.
When asked about her transition to life in England, Lloyd jokingly stated that she “didn’t drive for about the first few weeks.”
Additionally, the USWNT star spoke about how her experiences in England will follow her for the rest of her life, including getting to know Manchester City men’s manager Pep Guardiola.
“I can look back in 10, 15 years time and say that I lived in the same apartment complex as Pep Guardiola and exchanged texts with him,” Lloyd said.
“It was fantastic playing for the women. They really pride themselves on doing all they can to make it the best women’s club in the world and they’re on their way. I’m really excited to follow them and watch them grow.
Since her time with the Citizens ended in May, Lloyd has since returned to the U.S., where she plays for the Houston Dash of NWSL.
At this point, she says her biggest focus is to help the Dash reach the NSWL playoffs, which is something the club has failed to do in its first three seasons in the league.
The Dash are currently three points behind the Orlando Pride for the sixth and final spot in the postseason.
“I’m going to do all I can to help the club reach a playoff spot,” Lloyd said.
On the national team front, Lloyd remains one of the key figures in Jill Ellis’ side, despite this being an off year for the USWNT in the World Cup cycle.
The women’s squad has had their share of difficulties in 2017, losing matches to England, France and most recently Australia in the Tournament of Nations.
However, Lloyd recognizes that results during this calendar year don’t necessarily reflect how good the USWNT will be in the coming years and that finding players to help strengthen the squad will boost the nation’s chances of hoisting another World Cup title in 2019.
“I would assess it in a couple of different ways,” Lloyd said when asked about the current state of the USWNT. “One, it’s an off year. It’s a transition year. There are some experimentations going on at the moment. Do you remember in 2014/2015 when we lost to France? Everybody just remembers us winning the World Cup in 2015.
“Me as the player, you always want to be in peak form. You always want to be playing at your best, but in order to break these barriers you need to go backwards sometimes and put the pieces back together again in order to jump up a few more levels. I think that’s where we’re at right now and trying to look for more player depth within the squad.
“We’re all trying to do what we can and as we get closer to 2018 we’ll kind of hone in on everything. It’s obviously unfortunate not being able to win all the time, but that’s not the way women’s soccer is going anymore. It’s a lot harder. At the end of the day, 2019 is the real focus.”
For the New Jersey native, 2019 could very well be her last showing for both club and country, according to the former Rutgers Scarlet Knights standout.
Lloyd has represented the USWNT since 2005, making 242 appearances for the Stars and Stripes and scoring 97 goals in the process.
“The plan is this next cycle,” Lloyd said. “For me, age is just a number. It’s all about evolving. Every part of my career, every phase of my career has been something different. Now, I think it’s about being more sophisticated.
“Players are out to get the ball away from me. They’re out to kick me. I’m in the spotlight, so everybody thinks that I need to score a hat-trick every time I’m on the pitch. It doesn’t happen like that.
She’s off to USWNT duty this summer before returning to Houston, and would not rule out another loan to Man City. Also oddly for the Dash, she took the step of publicly imploring City to expand its New York City FC project to the women’s side (with the implication that she’d join up. VIDEO here, from the BBC).
“I’ve had an amazing experience here. It’s been absolutely fantastic on so many different levels and I’m super proud to be a part of it. It’s going to be weird to move on and jump back in with my Houston Dash team.”
“I’m not closing any doors at the moment. I’ve had a fantastic experience here. I am pushing for NYCFC to get a women’s team back at home. We’ll see what happens in the future.”
Lloyd and Alex Morgan spent the first part of the NWSL season on loan in England, while Heather O’Reilly and Crystal Dunn eschewed Stateside deals to sign with Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.
The NWSL certainly doesn’t want this to be the norm, and the English league averages more than 4000 less fans. But the allure of wearing the badge of celebrated clubs carries weight.
It feels odd for Houston that Lloyd would make the NYCFC to NWSL suggestion, especially given how the Dash and their fans likely feel about her loan, but she’s from New Jersey and the addition of an NYCFC side would be a boon to the nascent league.