The Houston Dash re-signed veteran forward María Sánchez to a new deal, keeping a key player for the Dash in Houston through 2026, with a mutual option for 2027.
“We are excited to share the signing of Maria Sanchez, a pivotal player and person on and off of the pitch. Maria’s is a difference maker who embodies the ambition our club has - her world class left foot and attacking abilities, her desire to be a champion in Houston, and authentic connection to our community are what makes her a club leader. Securing Maria’s long-term future was a priority as we know she will play an important role for the Dash for years to come. Signing Maria to this robust, new deal signifies our commitment to investing in infrastructure and talent on the pitch and direction of our club.
Sánchez was a constant threat in the final third for the Dash this year contributing to eight goals. She scored a team-leading four goals and added six assists in all competitions this year. She assisted goals for five different teammates this campaign and scored key goals to secure points both at Shell Energy Stadium and on the road. The striker was one of three Houston players to play in every regular season match in 2023 making 21 starts in 22 appearances playing over 1,700 minutes.
"Houston, I am so excited to be coming back. I am so privileged to represent such an amazing city and group of fans,” Sánchez said. “Words can’t describe the gratitude I have for the endless support I have received while representing the Dash. I can’t wait to get back to work and reach new levels of success for the club.”
Sánchez first joined the Dash ahead of the 2022 regular season after a successful two-year stint in Mexico and has made 46 career appearances in Houston. The American Falls, Idaho native was a key piece in helping Houston make its first playoff appearance in team history. During the 2022 season, Sánchez scored twice during the regular season and was credited with four assists. She contributed to four goals during the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup and was tied for the second most assists in the tournament with three.
The forward is coming off a strong outing at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile with the Mexican Women’s National Team. Sánchez led El Tri as the captain in all five matches and helped the team outscore its opponents 17-2 enroute to a gold medal. She led Mexico in scoring with four goals and became the first Mexican player to finish tied for the Golden Boot at the tournament.
Sánchez first joined El Tri in 2015 and has 64 appearances. In eight years representing Mexico, Sánchez has appeared in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Concacaf W Championship in 2022 and is expected to represent Mexico at the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup tournament in 2024.
Prior to joining the Dash, Sánchez spent two years in LigaMX Femenil with two of the most storied teams in Mexico. She made her debut on the Mexican soccer scene in 2020 with Chivas, where she scored five goals in 21 matches with the club. She then joined UANL Tigres Femenil at the beginning of 2021 and made 46 appearances, scoring 14 goals through both the Clausura and Apertura tournaments that year. While with Tigres, Sánchez joined the Dash on a short-term month-long loan. She made three appearances and scored her first NWSL goal in a 2-1 home victory over Orlando Pride on June 26, 2021.
Sánchez began playing organized soccer in high school and quickly became one of the best players in the State of Idaho and led the state in scoring throughout her entire high school career. She went on to play at Idaho State where she scored 22 goals in 37 appearances. Sánchez transferred to Santa Clara University for the final two years of her collegiate career where she scored 13 goals in 42 appearances. In her senior season, Sánchez led all Division I players in assists with 16.