The Houston Dash announced the transfer of star player Rachel Daly to Aston Villa FC. The mainstay of the Houston Dash since her inaugural debut in 2016 was exchanged for an undisclosed fee announced the team on Tuesday.
Daly epitomized the description of a Houston Dash player as defined by former head coach James Clarkson at the beginning of 2020. To be clear, Clarkson was not part of the team that brought Daly to Houston but his words reflect the women's soccer culture. "First we, look for a good person and then we look to see if they are a good soccer player, then we move forward from there," said Clarkson in an exclusive interview with this writer after the 2020 Challenge Cup win.
The Harrogate, England native has never had her character or her skills as a soccer player questioned throughout her tenure in Houston. No player has been with the club longer. She has through all the ups and downs with the club and it was one of the reasons, Daly was granted the request for a transfer. Her father passed away last September and her desire to be closer to home prompted the request.
The sixth overall pick of the Houston Dash, Daly never failed to put her adopted city and her team in the most positive of light. Not once when the team was underachieving did you hear a negative comment, instead she often spoke about how she needed to do more. Daly played on all three lines a member of the Dash and excelled at each. Her intensity and enthusiasm was spellbinding.
She led the team to its only championship hardware (2020 Challenge Cup) where she won not only the Golden Boot, A spot on the Best XI but the MVP trophy as well. She has accumulated numerous accolades over the years but her legacy is and will be how the team carries on without her. They look to be in the best position in team history making for yet another point that she not welching on team in a low point.
"My time in Houston has been a journey," said Daly in the team's media release. "Not many people can say they have played at the same club for seven years. I am honored to have worn orange for that length of time,” Daly said. “I absolutely love this club and the city of Houston. I have created memories that will last a lifetime. I feel happy knowing that I am leaving this club in a much better place than when I arrived. I can’t wait to see the future success of the Houston Dash. I want to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart.”
Although not expected to be dressed for Friday's home match with Racing Louisville, Daly will be at PNC Stadium where fans show her their gratitude for seven years of greatness.