Dash sign South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk

The Equalizer Staff December 21, 2016 24
New Dash defender Janine Van Wyk is South Africa's captain and most capped player--female or male (photo courtesy: ISI photo)

New Dash defender Janine Van Wyk is South Africa’s captain and most capped player–female or male (photo courtesy: ISI photo)

The wait for the Houston Dash to unveil their new central defender is over after the club announced the signing of Janine Van Wyk on Wednesday. The 29-year old is the captain of South Africa’s national team and is the country’s most capped player across both senior programs.

“(Van Wyk) was recently named as one of the four finalists for the African Footballer of the Year Award – that is the quality she brings to the team,” Dash head coach Randy Waldrum said in a team release. “Janine also brings a wealth of international experience to the club. I felt we had to address our central defending positions this offseason and add more experience and leadership. Janine certainly fills that need.”

Central defense has been a problem area for the Dash since their launch in 2014. They were originally allocated Whitney Engen, but the end of her Swedish contract combined with national team call-ups conspired to limit her to 11 starts. She was later shipped to Western New York in the trade that landed the Dash Carli Lloyd.

Last month the Dash signed another defender, Brazilian Bruna Benites.

Van Wyk drew rave reviews for her performance against the United States in friendlies ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. Among her 142 caps are appearances for South Africa at the last two Olympics.

  • VaFan51

    She played well against the USWNT earlier this year and was definitely her team’s boss out there.

    • Bruce

      Yes. I don’t know enough about her game to comment on her physical skills, but on the surface this has the potential to be a great signing for a team that could benefit from a strong, unifying force on the back line.

      Van Wyk absolutely oozed leadership in the Chicago friendly, and has been a player-coach-club owner for several years already.

      • Observed

        All they need is one great midfielder not named Brian to complete a playoff run.

        • mockmook

          They have a slew of “great” mids:


          Privett and Heap aren’t chopped liver, either.

          The team that showed up in the second half of 2016 is the real Dash — now, with their revamped D (plus their two draft picks), they are a real contender.

          • kernel_thai


            Ohai ………………………Beckie
            Moros-Bruna-Van Wyk-Poliana

          • mockmook

            (showing 3 possible subs)

            Is the Age of Roccaro at an end, or just beginning? I say, “Just beginnning”

            Take Vasconcelos in the draft (should be available at #18)

            And, even if they aren’t all starting, having all these Brazilians means they must play 3 in the back…

          • danlopez0413

            Why would they sign Bruna Benites and then not play her? Also, Andressa is too talented to be a sub. I’d also go with a 3-5-2, but mine would look a bit different…

            ………… Ohai ………….. Beckie ………….
            Andressa… Brian … Lloyd … O’Sullivan
            …………………… Brooks .…………………..
            …… Bruna ….. Van Wyk ….. Poliana ……
            …………………. Williams ……………………..

          • mockmook

            “Why would they sign Bruna Benites and then not play her?”

            The Flash just acquired Rosana to be a sub, so it happens.

            And, I’m sure Roccaro is going to put up a heck of a fight for that starting spot.


            “Andressa is too talented to be a sub.”

            So is Daly.

            And, many would say the same thing about Moros.

            There just aren’t enough positions on the field for all of Houston’s good players.

            Anyway, here is an alternative favoring more “dynamic”/attacking players:


          • mockmook

            OK, I promise this is the last time on this thread.

            Here’s an even better way to get all the best attackers on at once:


  • Som Termanni

    Houston’s defenders: Benites (BRA), Brush (AUS), Chapman (CAN), Moros (US), Ochs (US), Poliana (BRA), Roccarro (US), Van Wyk (RSA), Williams (AUS), Henninger (MEX).
    Here’s hoping Randy picked up a copy of Rosetta Stone in the offseason.

    • Steglitz49

      RSA, Brazil, Aus and Canada all played well in OG-16. The American players listed were not there, neither was Mexico.

    • mockmook

      Brush and Chapman are history, outta here, adios

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  • Guest

    well, she successfully thwarted Alex Morgan and Christen Press.

  • Tom F

    Van Wyk is an excellent choice! She not only looked vs the US in a friendly, but also kept her SA squad competitive in the Olympics, which only allowed 3 goals in in 3 games including a 0=0 draw vs Brazil. Not bad for a team that’s only ranked #48. The only thing against her in one friendly vs the Nederlands, she got owned by Miedema for two goals,

  • Tom F

    here’s a couple of foreign stars for the NWSL to consider;
    possibly the best new forward in the world today, Beatriz(Brazil) can’t find a more condensed highlight version, but check out, she scores the 1st & 3rd goals, assists on the 2nd & 4th. Could she be a replacement for Morgan or what? She’s #11

    purely for entertainments sake they got someone’s got to hire the Harlem Globetrotters of the French youth player, Cascarino

    • Steglitz49

      Beatriz scored two goals against Sweden when Brazil routed them 5-1 in their group game but as far as I know she scored no more. Whether Beatriz is better than some of the U20 forwards, like Bremer (20 yrs; Lyon), Blackstenius (who scored against the US and Germany in OG-16) and the French, Japanese, North-Korean and Ameircan players, time will tell.

      Beatriz is tall (5’9″) but so are Blackstenius and Bremer. Beatriz has played in South-Korea for the past 3 years or so, where her height no doubt has been an advantage.

  • kernel_thai

    On paper this group probably ranks only behind Portland in the battle for the “on paper” championship. While there is still more than winning on paper, if Waldrum can’t locate the playoffs with this group he needs to touch up the resume’.

    • Movement

      There are still some issues on the field for this team, in terms of chemistry.
      They are inconsistent with connecting with one another, but they have the individual talent to be elite.

    • guest

      does this also say something about carli lloyd if she can’t also get this team into the playoffs?

      • Steglitz49

        This year the USWNT has no intercontinental tournament of significance. Thus all USWNT players should be in action for their clubs unless they go to weddings or on maternity leave.

        So far, the NWSL has only lost Alex Morgan, and formally only for part of the season. The same may apply to Amandine Henry though she is not a USWNT player.

        • Som Termanni

          All sources on Henry’s PSG deal point to a 2- or 3-month loan with the explicit goal of returning to the NWSL in time for the regular season, which means this is a mercenary hire for the remainder of D1F. (None too soon; PSG is alone atop the table after knocking off OL a few weeks ago, and faces #2 Montpelier on 14 January with hopes of extending their advantage.) A 3-month loan could also have her playing one CL match with PSG, against Bayern, in March.

          By the way, here’s the latest: she’s already training with PSG pending an official announcement on 1 January, and Le Figaro reconfirms that this loan lasts only until the start of the NWSL season and that Henry remains on a Thorns FC contract. http://sport24.lefigaro.fr/football/transferts/fil-info/amandine-henry-presque-au-paris-saint-germain-839056

          > Il ne s’agirait toutefois que d’une pige de quelques semaines, jusqu’au début du championnat américain, où la joueuse de 27 ans est sous contrat aux Portland Thorns.

  • anon

    cool. I remember thinking during that SA friendly that she should come to the NWSL

  • Awesome to have senior leadership and experience on the backline. I really enjoyed watching Van Wyk when the USA player SA. Excited for her addition to the league and gives me a reason to tune back in to Dash games, since I tend to be bored by them, for some reason.