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Dash off: Christen Press signs short-term deal to return to Sweden’s Göteborg FC

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

Christen Press‘ immediate club playing future is solved – for now. Göteborg FC announced on Monday that the U.S. international has signed a contract through summer, with the possibility of her stay extending.

Press had held out of training camp for the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash after being traded there in a blockbuster deal on the day of the college draft. While Press had a mutual agreement with the Chicago Red Stars to move on after four years together, Houston was not on her preferred list of destinations, and even after touring the Dash’s facilities earlier this year, Press decided that she was not going to play in Houston (a power she has as a U.S. federation player, whose contract is with U.S. Soccer and not with her NWSL team).

The Dash and NWSL worked to try to keep the 29-year-old star in the league, but no suitable trades materialized prior to the 2018 season, which kicked off on Saturday. Press was recently left off of the U.S. women’s national team’s roster for two April friendly matches against Mexico, which U.S. coach Jill Ellis stating publicly that Press needed to be on a club team to be called in.

Press’ move back to Sweden, where she played in 2012 and 2013 – prior to joining the NWSL – is something of a temporary injunction. It will keep Press in a daily, professional club environment and give the Dash time to work on a more beneficial deal. Houston still holds Press’ rights, so any team looking to bring Press back to the U.S. would need to go through the Dash.

Press’ return to Göteborg FC at such an important time in her career is poetic. Her move to the club in 2012, at the 11th hour of the transfer window following the collapse of Women’s Professional Soccer, kick-started her upward trajectory professionally and internationally.

One season in Göteborg saw Press score 17 goals in 21 league matches (second in the Damallsvenskan) before moving to fellow Swedish side (and now defunct) Tyresö in early 2013. There, she joined a star-studded roster which included Marta and Veronica Boquete, and the team made the 2014 UEFA Champions League final, losing to Wolfsburg, 4-3.

The 2013 Damallsvenskan season was Press best individually. She became the first American to win the Damallsvenskan golden boot, scoring 23 goals.

 

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