The Houston Dash have acquired defender Niki Cross from the Washington Spirit in exchange for defender Arianna Romero, the club announced today.
Cross, 29, appeared in 10 matches for the Spirit in 2014 (8 starts) after joining the team in June from Bayern Munich. Cross was originally signed by Seattle Reign FC prior to the 2014 NWSL season, then traded to Washington.
“I am really excited to have Niki join the Dash family,” Dash head coach Randy Waldrum said. “I’ve known Niki since her days playing at UConn and always thought highly of her play. She has developed into a very good center back, and one with international experience. With so many players missing for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she fills a big need for us.”
The Brockton, Massachusetts, native graduated from the University of Connecticut and began her career in 2008 with Umeå Södra FF in Sweden before returning to the United States with Saint Louis Athletica for the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer season. Cross signed with FC Gold Pride midway through the 2010 season after Saint Louis folded, and went on to win the WPS Championship. Cross spent time with the Newcastle Jets (Australian W-League), Boston Breakers (WPS) and Medkila IL (Swedish Damallsvenskan) before joining Bayern Munich in 2012.
Cross made an immediate impact with Bayern, starting the semifinal and final matches of the 2011-12 Frauen DFB Pokal en route to the club’s first major trophy since 1976. As a center back, Cross scored twice in the semifinal victory over FFC Frankfurt. Cross went on to make 43 league appearances (40 starts) and score three goals in her two and a half seasons with the Bavarian club.
Romero, 24, was acquired by the Dash in the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft. The Mexican international appeared in 21 games (19 starts) as an outside back in her rookie season.
Date of Birth: May 5, 1985
Birthplace: Brockton, Massachusetts
Previous club: Washington Spirit
How acquired: via trade on December 2, 2014