San Diego signs María Sánchez in record trade with Houston

Apr 20, 2024, 04:19 PM ET

Mexico international María Sánchez has been traded to the San Diego Wave from the Houston Dash, the teams confirmed Saturday.

Houston will receive $500,000, with a source adding that the fee would be broken down into $300,000 in transfer funds and $200,000 in allocation money with an international roster spot in 2024 and 2025 also heading to the Dash.

The $500,000 total represents the largest intra-league exchange of funds in NWSL history, a representative for the Wave told ESPN.

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The winger’s move to San Diego comes after ESPN reported on Sunday that Sánchez was seeking a trade just four months after signing a lucrative deal with the Dash.

The $1.5 million three-year deal, with a fourth-year option, was at the time the largest in NWSL history. Sánchez, 28, was a restricted free agent this past offseason, meaning that Houston had the ability to match any offer from another NWSL team and retain her rights.

Her contract is signed with the league, so will remain in place with San Diego.

News of the trade was first reported by Pro Soccer Wire.

María Sánchez is leaving for San Diego just four months after joining the Houston Dash. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

“This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about,” Sánchez stated on social media on Thursday regarding her request for “an immediate trade.”

The NWSL’s trade window closed at midnight ET on Friday.

Houston made other deals on deadline day. Angel City FC traded center-back Paige Nielsen to the Dash in exchange for $50,000 in allocation money and $50,000 in transfer funds. A source also confirmed to ESPN that the Dash signed Brazilian defender Tarciane ahead of the deadline, as first reported by CBS Sports.

In addition, Houston sent goalkeeper Emily Alvardo to the Portland Thorns in exchange for $35,000 in allocation money. The Dash could receive $50,000 in intra-league transfer funds or allocation money if certain performance metrics are met.

Angel City also traded midfielder and former France captain Amandine Henry to expansion side Utah Royals FC for $75,000 in allocation money on Friday. The combination of “these movements do enable us to make impactful additions to our roster in the coming months,” Angel City general manager Angela Hucles Mangano said in a statement.

Angel City has been waiting on the return of longtime United States women’s national team forward Christen Press, the team’s first ever signing, who tore her ACL in June 2022 and has not yet returned after multiple surgeries.

The NWSL’s secondary transfer window opens Aug. 1.

Sánchez was one of the key players for Mexico in its run to the semifinals of the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup in March.

Houston has kicked off the 2024 NWSL season with a 1W-1D-2L record, while San Diego has started 1-1-1.


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