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Lloyd traded to Houston; Flash get Edwards, Engen

Carli Lloyd has been traded to the Houston Dash. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Carli Lloyd has been traded to the Houston Dash. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd is headed to the Houston Dash in a trade that will see midfielder Becky Edwards and defender Whitney Engen return to the Western New York Flash.

The Flash also received a third-round draft pick in 2016 as part of the trade. The deal was made official on Thursday.

“I’m excited about the acquisitions; we thought this was a move that would strengthen our roster. We’re in a rebuilding phase as we look to get back to where we want to be,” Flash general manager and head coach Aaran Lines said.

Lloyd had a team-high five assists for the Flash in 2014. Her eight goals were second only to Sam Kerr’s nine. Lloyd scored eight goals in 15 games for the Flash  in 2013.

But the Flash struggled in 2014, finishing 7th (8-12-4, 28 pts.) and missing the playoffs for the first time in club history. The Flash had until 2014 played in four consecutive championship matches in four different leagues, winning three of them.

Lines said as his 2014 season came to a whimper that changes would be coming.

“I’m going to evaluate the season after it’s finished,” Lines said on July 31.

“We’ll be looking to strengthen certain positions on the field, on our roster, and some fresh blood.”

Edwards and Engen played for the Flash in 2011, leading the team to a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) championship. Edwards tallied three goals and an assist in 18 games with Western New York that season under Lines.

Lloyd is currently at World Cup qualifying with the United States. The U.S. opened the tournament on Wednesday with a lethargic 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago. Lloyd played 90 minutes. She has 51 goals for the U.S., the most ever for a player who primarily plays in the midfield.

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