Houston Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger announces retirement


Houston Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, one of the original members of the inaugural Dash team in 2014,announcedher retirement from professional soccer after an eight-year career earlier today. Henninger made the announcement on her personal Instagram account.

“It’s that time, guys! It’s been such a beautiful run for me, but it is time for me to call it a day,” Henninger said in her post. “I can’t put into words what this journey has done for my life, the lessons it has taught me and the joy it has brought me. … Last but not least, keep dancing for me. Soccer is fun, whether you’re on the pitch or in the stands.”

Henninger joined the Dash prior to the 2014 NWSL season after being traded from FC Kansas City. The goalkeeper went on to spend six seasons with the Dash, starting in 19 of 20 appearances and tallying 12 saves in 1,723 minutes played in Houston. Henninger made her NWSL debut forFC Kansas City in 2013 as part of a squad that reached the semifinals of the NWSL Playoffs. 

Last October, Henningerstarted for the Dash in the first-ever international friendly featuring an NWSL side on Mexican soil in Houston’s matchup against Tigres UANL Femenil at the legendary Estadio Universitario. 

The Mexican-Americanwas selected by the Philadelphia Independence in the third round of the 2012 WPS Draft after completing a successful four-year career at Santa Clara University. As a senior, Henninger was named the 2011 WCC Goalkeeper of the Year and earned Third-Team All-America and All-WCC First-Team accolades. Henninger’sdecorated collegiate career also included being named to Top Drawer Soccer’s Team of the Season and the U.S Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Yearas a junior in 2010. The Los Gatos, California native started in 59 of 66 appearances for the Broncos.

In addition to her domestic career in WPS and the NWSL, Henninger spent two NWSL offseasonscompeting overseas. In 2013, the goalkeeper was loaned to Germany’s FC Bayern Munich in the Frauen-Bundesliga. Henninger also went to the Australian W-League in the 2016-17 season making seven appearances with Melbourne Victory.

Henninger was part of the U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams throughout her prep and collegiate career. The experienced goalkeeper played with the Under-17 national team during tours of Canada and Argentina in 2006, played with the Under-20 team on their Spain tour in 2008-09 and won the Golden Glove award at the 2010 U-20 World Cup after playing every minute in the United States' quarterfinal run. In 2011, Henninger was called into the Under-23 National Team training camp ahead of friendlies against Spain and Sweden. 

In 2015, Henninger received an invitation to train with the Mexican Women’s National Team, an opportunity she tookdue to her dual citizenship. The 29-year-old was called up to the senior team in 2016 to be a part of the squad that played in the Four Nations Tournament in China. On February 4, 2017 Henninger made her debut for Mexico in a friendly against Canada and has four caps with the team.