The Houston Dash continue to adjust their roster just ahead of the start of the National Women's Soccer League's 2018 season. The team waived Brazilian defender Bruna Benites (Bruna) on Thursday, freeing up a valuable international roster slot ahead of the February 19 start to training camp. All nine NWSL teams start training camp on the same day.
Bruna signed with the Dash in November 2016, after the conclusion of the 2016 NWSL season. She played the full 2017 schedule with the squad, making appearances in 14 games. The 32-year-old defender has been a staple of the Brazilian Women's National Team for nearly a decade, but she missed the 2015 Women's World Cup due to an ACL injury suffered just before the tournament. She has made 54 appearances and scored six goals for her country. Bruna, a former captain for Brazil, never quite fit into the Dash lineup. She has gone back to playing in Brazil with Esporte Clube Iranduba da Amazônia.
Bruna is the latest change in a series of moves made by new head coach Vera Pauw to reimagine the Houston Dash lineup. Houston, the first expansion team for the NWSL in 2015, has not made the playoffs in their three years in the league. After the Boston Breakers folded in January, the Dash are now the only team in the league that has participated in at least one season to have no playoff appearances. Pauw is hoping to right the ship by moving on from Carli Lloyd and bringing in an assortment of new talent. Notable additions to the Dash include United States Women's National Team forward Christen Press, Swedish midfielder Lotta Okvist, Canadian forward Lindsay Agnew, and South African midfielder Linda Motlhalo. The Dash also acquired the rights to Australian international Kyah Simon, but she is not currently a member of the team.