Dash ink Brazilian defender Bruna Benites

The Equalizer Staff November 30, 2016 14

The Houston Dash appear to be using the offseason to reshape their back line. A day after sending Allysha Chapman to the Breakers, the club announced the signing of Bruna Benites. The Brazilian defender has been capped 45 times and most recently played club soccer at Avaldsnes IL in Norway.

The signing leaves the Dash with two international spots for next season, one of which was acquired in the Chapman trade. At that time, Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle reported the Dash had a verbal agreement with an international center back. But according to Roepken and Hal Kaiser of keepernotes.com, Benites is not that defender and that an additional center back should be announced in the next few weeks.

In three seasons since joining NWSL in 2014 as the league’s first expansion side, the Dash have yet to qualify for the playoffs.

  • Rdalford

    Norway club Avaldsnes appears to be a good place for ACL injury rehab. Bruna ACL injury in May 2015 caused her to miss 2015 WC with Brazil WNT but with a successful 2016 season with Avaldsnes in Norway now lands in Houston. Bruna will be an improvement in defensive back line for Houston plus should work well with other Brazilian players already in Houston.

    • Steglitz49

      Casey Short too, and AD Franch.

      • Rdalford

        Yes Franch, Short and now Bruna all had post ACL injury successful seasons with Avaldsnes in Norway, which was the point of my Avaldsnes appears to be good place for ACL injury rehab comment.

    • kernel_thai

      Dont really know much about her play but she is tall and hopefully adds a heading presence at both ends. Set pieces has been as big a problem for the Dash as any other since their entrance into the league. Grabbing some easy goals and prevent other teams from set piece goals will be a key to making the playoffs.

  • FawcettFan

    Presumably an upgrade. Brush was a decent player but made some mistakes. Bruna was a starter for Brazil (I believe their captain for a while) until she tore an ACL. At age 31 she has experience under her belt, something the Dash defense desperately needs. Per this article Waldrum has yet another defensive signing in the works too.

    The Dash have all the pieces to be a playoff team. Daly, if she makes England’s Euro roster, is the only one who will miss time; O’Sullivan’s Ireland did not qualify. So they’ll have an offensively dynamic team intact the whole season, and seems as if they are shoring up the defense. Now they need to produce and show some consistent form. No more six straight games being shutout again. No digging themselves into a deep hole to mount a valiant but vain playoff push like 2016.

  • newsouth

    The coach blows but I look forward to watching more Dash games now. Bruna, Ohai and Henderson.

  • Tom F

    I know Bruna has been struggling with injuries has lost her starting CB spot on the Brazilian NT in recent years to the likes of Monica & Rafealle & Erica would be 1st sub of the bench. None of them are among the top CB;s in the world. Why do NWSL teams not consider more homegrown talent than 2nd tier foreign players? I’m sure their of the same quality

    • Steglitz49

      Your point is well taken.

      I suspect that she is cheap. I doubt that Avaldsnes pays over the top.

      A top defender like Jessica Samuelsson would be reflected in the price. Monica already plays in Orlando.

    • guest

      Houston did with Roccaro. It hasn’t worked very well.

      • mockmook

        Not sure that Roccaro has been a bust.

        But, even if she has, that doesn’t mean every homegrown CB is.

        2016 draftees Skroski and Naughton seemed to do pretty well. And, previously:

        Johnston
        Kallman
        Menges
        Dahlkemper
        Grubka
        Oyster
        Church

  • Gary Diver

    So 22 year-old Carl Roccaro has no future?

    • guest

      Roccaro has not (yet) returned to former playing level after her hip surgery. Roccaro is a good defender and has played both CB and OB positions (although she does not process great speed). Waldrum knows how well a healthy Roccaro can play so expect he has not given up on her but will give her more time to see if she can return to form.

      • Steglitz49

        Maybe a sojourn in Avaldsnes is called for, the club in the Westland of Norway, with the great track-record for rehabing injured players.

    • mockmook

      They were essentially down to one true CB with Roccaro — so these additional CBs are desperately needed.