The Houston Dash started 2022 off with a bang earlier this week by announcing the signing of Mexican forward María Sánchez from UANL Tigres of Liga MX Femenil. However, Sánchez is no stranger to the Houston Dash and the National Women’s Soccer League.
Sánchez was on loan with the club for a month in 2021, making an impact in three games and scoring a goal at home to cap off her short stint in orange. Two years before that, in 2019, she was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars, where she played seven matches before heading to Mexico.
Now, the forward is back and ready to make an even bigger impact for the Dash and in the NWSL. Despite spending two years in Liga MX Femenil, one spent with four-time champions Tigres, Sánchez has been waiting for her chance to return to the states.
“I think for many girls, especially in Mexico, it’s the European dream,” she explained on the City of Soccer podcast. “I can say that for me it’s always been the American dream. I think we have little representation of Mexican players in the NWSL.”
As a Mexican American who was born in Idaho, Sánchez has made 39 appearances for the Mexico Women’s National Team and scored five goals. She was the second-youngest player on Mexico’s roster for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The forward represents the country of her heritage with pride, always striving to represent Mexican Americans in every way she can. Getting a taste of her American dream last June was key to her return to the NWSL.
“It was a great experience, and it was great to hear that the Dash wanted me back again,” she said. “So, to me it was a great opportunity that I couldn’t [turn] down. I’m very thankful for the Dash, for James for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”
Off the pitch, the city of Houston was a big pull for the Mexican soccer star. As someone who stays true to her culture and her roots, this city and its large Hispanic population has a way of making the forward feel at home.
“For me, the food – it still makes me connected to my culture. I was in Mexico for two years, but being raised with Mexican culture, I think Houston still has that.” Sánchez expressed on the City of Soccer podcast.
The Mexican forward is ready to make Houston her home and to represent the city as well as her culture on and off the field with the Houston Dash. For her, the opportunities that lie within the city of Houston are endless.
“I think I’m just excited for everything in general,” Sánchez shared. “I’m excited to learn from everybody, from James, from my teammates and just grow.”