The Houston Dash have acquired Irish forward Stephanie Roche pending receipt of her P-1 Visa and ITC, the club announced today. Per team and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Roche, 25, was recently named runner-up for the 2014 FIFA Puskás Award, awarded to the player judged to have scored the best goal in any FIFA-sanctioned competition. Her juggled, volleyed goal for Peamount United against Wexford Youths (above) was the first goal scored by a woman to be named a finalist for the award.
“I am so excited about the signing of Stephanie, we are getting a player that has great technical ability, a superb left foot, and possibly the best goalscorer to come out of Ireland since Olivia O’Toole,” Dash head coach Randy Waldrum said. “Stephanie will bring a wealth of international experience to our team, and another great attacking option that is different from what we have already. All our Dash fans and fans of women’s soccer in general will be excited about this signing.”
On the international level, Roche has represented the Republic of Ireland a total of 35 times, scoring six goals. After representing Ireland at the U-17 and U-19 levels, Roche made her senior debut against Iceland in October 2008. She scored her first international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan a year later.
Roche began her career with Stella Marris in her native Dublin before moving to Dundalk City and then Raheny United. The forward then joined Peamount United for the inaugural season of the Irish Women’s National League in 2011-12, which they won. Roche scored a record 71 goals in her three years with Peamount, winning the Golden Boot award in 2011-12 and 2013-14. Peamount also took part in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2011-12 and 2012-13, where Roche scored seven goals in eight appearances.
Most recently, Roche was with ASPTT Albi of the French Division 1 Féminine, where she scored twice in 10 league appearances.
The 2015 Dash season kicks off on April 10 against the Washington Spirit at BBVA Compass Stadium. Individual and season tickets are available now by calling (713) 276-GOAL or by clicking here.
International: Republic of Ireland
Date of Birth: June 13, 1989
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Height: 5’ 10”
Previous Club: ASPTT Albi (France)
How acquired: via discovery signing on Feb. 18, 2015
Twitter: Follow @StephanieRoche9