Houston Dash’s María Sánchez reportedly requests trade just months after signing record deal


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The Dash don't seem open to the idea of dealing María Sánchez before the deadline later this week
The Dash don’t seem open to the idea of dealing María Sánchez before the deadline later this week. (Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

Just months after signing what was the largest deal in National Women’s Soccer League history, María Sánchez wants out of Houston.

The Dash winger requested a trade from the franchise ahead of the deadline later this week, according to ESPN’s Jeff Kassouf. The trade window and transfer window both close at midnight ET on Friday.

Sánchez was a restricted free agent this past offseason. She then agreed to a three-year deal that is worth up to $1.5 million including bonuses and a fourth-year option. At the time, it was the largest deal in NWSL history. That deal was signed about four months ago.

Now, Sánchez apparently wants out — and it doesn’t sound like Houston is willing to honor that request.

“María Sánchez is under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023,” the team said in a statement to ESPN on Sunday.

Sánchez’s contract was signed with the league, too, so that severely limits the number of teams who could pick up her deal and sign her.

Sánchez, 28, has made three starts with the Dash this season, her fourth year with the franchise. Sánchez has also been a long-running member on the Mexican national team, and spent time in Liga MX Femenil and the Chicago Red Stars.

The Dash have just a 1-2-1 record through four games this season, and they’ve allowed a league-worst 10 goals. The Dash hired head coach Fran Alonso in December after former head coach Sam Laity was fired last season. Former goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson was also fired earlier this year for violating the league’s NWSL Coach Code of Conduct and Anti-Fraternization Policy.

Though Sánchez set the NWSL record when she signed her contract, it has been broken several times since then. USWNT forward and Portland Thorns star Sophia Smith signed a deal with the franchise last month that made her the highest-paid player annually. Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson, Bay FC forward Racheal Kundananji and Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda all signed deals worth up to $2.5 million this past offseason, too, according to ESPN.

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