The Houston Dash have finalized the team’s technical staff by naming Eddie Robinson and Monica Gonzalez as assistant coaches and Brenton Saylor as the goalkeeper coach for the 2019 NWSL season, the club announced today.
This is the first full-time technical staff in club history. The club previously hired part-time coaches who had additional commitments with local universities. Additionally, the club will seek to fill other support and analyst roles for the first team prior to its sixth NWSL season.
“I’m extremely excited about the technical staff we have been able to put together for the new season,” head coach James Clarkson said. “All three bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help me and the players on and off the field. We are striving to create an outstanding environment and culture that will allow everyone involved to be successful.”
Robinson joined the club as an assistant in May, and shortly thereafter the team earned two victories and two draws out of a five-game stretch, including a 2-1 victory over Seattle Reign FC at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 23. Houston finished the season by winning three of their final five games, including a 6-1 victory over Sky Blue FC in the home finale to finish the year with a franchise-record nine victories.
“I’m extremely thankful that the club has brought me back to build on what we accomplished last season,” Robinson said. “I look forward to working with James, Monica and Brenton for what should be a memorable year.“
Gonzalez was one of the founding members of the Mexican Women's National Team in 1998. The Richardson, Texas native was captain of El Tri from 2003 to 2007 and represented Mexico at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The Notre Dame product scored 10 goals in 83 caps for Mexico and played professionally for the Boston Breakers from 2002-2003, where she earned WUSA All-Star honors in 2003.
“I am very excited to work with James, this staff and some of the best players in the game,” Gonzalez said. “Houston has the most talent it has ever had, and we will add to that core in a few days at the NWSL College Draft. Our work will go beyond the field as we advocate for the game in our community and make this club a local cornerstone in the sport.”
Saylor spent three seasons with the Rice University women’s soccer team, helping the Owls capture the 2017 Conference USA title with a 12-2-2 record. Rice goalkeepers combined for 19 shutouts during Saylor’s tenure at the university as they earned back-to-back 12-win seasons in his first two years with the program. Saylor also helped train Maya Hoyer, who earned Conference USA Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2017.
“This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’ve had the opportunity to see many of these players and staff up close in the last year and I think there is a different motivation this year,” Saylor said. “The team is poised to make a strong run this year, I want to be a part of that and help aid in the process.”
The first task at hand for the Dash technical staff will be preparing for the 2019 NWSL Draft, which will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10 in Chicago. The Dash will open their 2019 season, their sixth in NWSL, the weekend of April 13. The complete 2019 NWSL schedule will be released next spring.