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Forward Maria Sanchez entered the 2023-24 offseason as a restricted free agent—she could negotiate with other teams but her originating team, the Houston Dash, would have the opportunity to match any external offers and keep the attacker on their roster. In December the forward signed a three year contract with a fourth year option reportedly worth $1.5million, which at the time made her the highest paid NWSL player. Now just four months later, ESPN’s Jeff Kassouf reports that the forward has requested a trade from the Dash ahead of the primary trade/transfer window closing on Friday. 

Should a trade not occur by Friday, Sanchez will be stuck in Houston at least until the secondary window opens August 1st. Additional reporting has confirmed that Sanchez requested the trade at least two weeks ago ahead of Houston’s win against expansion side Bay FC. The Dash currently sit 11th in the table with only one win and one draw in four matches. 

Part of the NWSL CBA has verbiage that player’s salaries will not be disclosed to third parties by the NWSL or its teams without written consent of the NWSL Players Association. This means that although Sanchez’s new total compensation was reported back in December, there is no transparency on where any of the 14 teams sit in terms of the salary cap and whether they could afford Sanchez if they are in fact looking for an additional attacking player before the window closes. 

Outside of her salary fitting into an NWSL team's salary cap, the other issue that Sanchez will run into is that although the NWSL trade/transfer window does have five days until it closes, a lot of other leagues are not in an open window so the options for Sanchez outside of the NWSL are fairly limited if she wants to move immediately.


Houston Dash Roster Outlook

Houston Dash Transactions