Houston-native forward Michaela Abam became the first player from what is now the Dynamo | Dash Youth Club to sign with the Houston Dash, the Dash announced today.

Abam played for the Texas Rush youth soccer club, which is now part of the Dynamo | Dash Youth Club, prior to beginning her collegiate career at West Virginia University. She is the first player to sign with the Dash out of the Club’s developmental pipeline. Her contract will carry through the 2021 NWSL season with a club option for an additional year.

“I think it’s fantastic that we are able to sign not only a Houston native, but also the first player from our developmental partners at Dynamo | Dash Youth, to the Dash first team,” said Dash head coach James Clarkson. “Michaela can certainly score goals, and she also has excellent technical ability and a great understanding of how to move without the ball to create space for herself and her teammates. Her personality and attitude will make her a great fit with our existing squad as well, and we’re excited for her to join us.”

“We are incredibly proud of Michaela – both as a player and a person – and look forward to welcoming her back home to Houston. The opportunity for current and future Dash Academy players to see someone who was once in their exact position now take the field at BBVA Stadium is truly special,” said Dave Dengerink, Dash Academy Director. “Michaela has continued to be a great supporter of Dynamo | Dash Youth as an alum, and our entire club family is excited to be here to support her and her career.”

Abam starred at West Virginia from 2014-17, scoring 42 goals and adding 16 assists in a school-record 95 appearances for the Mountaineers. As a junior in 2016, she led West Virginia to the school’s first appearance in the NCAA College Cup Final, scoring three goals in the tournament including the game-winning goal in a 1-0 semifinal win over North Carolina

Abam initially entered the NWSL as the fourth overall pick of the 2018 NWSL College Draft by Sky Blue FC and she played in four games during her rookie season. She transferred to Paris FC in the Division 1 Féminine on August 1, 2018 and appeared in 10 games with one goal over the 2018-19 season. She signed with Real Betis in the Spanish Primera División ahead of the 2019-20 season and made a total of 20 appearances with three goals scored for the Spanish club.

The striker represented the United States at the Under-17 level before electing to represent Cameroon at the senior level beginning in 2018. She scored twice on her debut for the Indomitable Lionesses on November 12, 2018 in a friendly win over Zambia in a friendly prior to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she started in three of Cameroon’s four matches in France that summer.

With the addition of Abam, the Dash now have 29 players on the active roster. She will be available for selection during Friday night’s Dash match against the Washington Spirit as well as during the upcoming Women’s International Champions Cup.