The Houston Dash have, without question, had a successful 2020 year. On the pitch they won the NWSL’s Challenge Cup to bring home their first hardware. Then finished second in the Verizon Fall Series, earning $15,000 for the NAACP Houston Chapter. That on-field success has opened eyes to some of the stars of the team as forward Rachel Daly and midfielders Shea Groom and Kristie Mewis all made The Guardian’s “Top 100 Women’s Footballers” list.
The annual list put out by the British publication had Daly at 43, Mewis at 47 and Groom at 90 for this year’s edition. Groom took the place of Daly, who was the only Dash player on the 2019 list, coming it at no. 90 after her run for England in the Women’s World Cup.
“This is great recognition for all three players and the club. It demonstrates the progress they and the team have made this year,” Dash Head Coach James Clarkson said. “We will continue to raise the level of the Dash and strive to improve every player in the squad. The team will provide the individual the platform to perform at an elite level.”
Daly jumped 47 spots up the list from last year to come in at 43rd, “Its an absolute honour to be named number 43 in the world among such unbelievable players,” said the Challenge Cup MVP. Rachel had three goals and two assists during the tournament and was a catalyst for the Dash’s offense. After the tournament she went back to England on loan at West Ham United racking up three more goals in 10 games playing multiple positions for the squad. Daly’s move up the list for was the fifth-highest jump in the Top 100.
Making the highest debut of anyone on the list, Mewis landed at 47 in the top 100. The playmaking midfielder shined for the Dash in both the Challenge Cup and Fall Series, showing she has completely returned to form after a knee injury in 2018. Mewis tallied three goals and five assists in the 11 games for the Dash in 2020. She capped off her stellar year by returning to the United States Women’s National Team and scoring in her first appearance for the USWNT since 2014.
Groom soared into the spotlight in her first year with the Dash earning her the spot at 90 on The Guardian’s Top 100. Three goals in the Challenge Cup including the clincher in the final and winning Final MVP honors earned Groom a USWNT camp call up. She also resigned with the Dash for the next few years.
All three of the players who made the top 100 are signed with the Dash through the 2021 season, each getting a new deal in 2020. The team reports for preseason on February 1st, 2021.