England's Rachel Daly leaves Houston Dash to join Aston Villa

Euro 2022 winner Rachel Daly bids farewell to Houston Dash just over a week after England’s tournament success as versatile star thanks club for ‘unbelievable memories’ before joining up with Aston Villa in the WSL

  • England’s Rachel Daly has moved back to her homeland from Houston Dash 
  • Versatile player was at NWSL club for seven years and penned emotional letter
  • Daly has left the Dash ‘to be closer to family’ and has joined up with Aston Villa

European champion Rachel Daly has left Houston Dash after seven years with the NWSL club.

The 30-year-old versatile player has returned to the UK to join up with Aston Villa in the Women’s Super League.

She announced her departure Tuesday, writing on Twitter, alongside an emotional letter: ‘Houston, thank you for seven years of unbelievable memories. I will miss you.’

European champion Rachel Daly has left Houston Dash after seven years with the NWSL club

Daly announced the news on social media, in which she penned an emotional letter to Dash

Daly became a European champion with England last week as they beat Germany at Wembley

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The letter reads: ‘Houston, countless thoughts are rushing through my head as I reflect on what this city means to me. I had no clue what the future would hold when I took off for Baltimore in 2016, much like today I was beginning a new chapter.

‘I still remember the anxiety and the relief that consumed me after I was selected by this club at the draft.

‘Seven years later, this team is on the brink of history, and I have yo watch from the sidelines as I step away to be closer to family.

‘It pains me to say goodbye. This past year for myself and my family has been incredibly tough. 

‘The silver lining has been bringing football home and getting the opportunity to be around family. This made me realize this is exactly what I needed, to be home.

‘To my teammates, congrats on such an amazing run these past couple of weeks. I’m so happy for each of you. I have no doubt you will become the first Houston Dash team to reach the playoffs and I’ll be your number one fan from afar.

The versatile player has signed for Aston Villa in the UK’s Women’s Super League

Daly played at left-back during Euros glory but Villa intend to use her talents up front

‘To the staff, you are the glue that keeps this going. Thank you for being the best at what you do behind the scenes.

‘Houston has been my world for the past seven years and for that I will be forever grateful. I gave it all for H-Town and know I left it all on the pitch.

‘You always want to leave a club in a better place than where you found it, this is no longer the same old Dash.

‘The club, the city and the people will always have a special place in my heart. 

‘The future is so bright for the Dash and I’m looking forward to watching from across the pond. It’s been my honor to play and represent this city.’  

Villa have signed Daly, who has also played for Leeds, Lincoln Ladies and West Ham in England, on a three-year contract.

The versatile Lioness played left-back in Sarina Wiegman’s Euro 2022-winning side but can also play higher up the pitch, with Villa manager Carla Ward intending to use her talents up front. 

‘This is a big signing for us and one we’ve worked hard on completing. Rachel is a top forward and a proven goalscorer,’ she said.

‘Having performed admirably at full-back this summer, she showed us that she is a player you simply need in your team.

‘But for us, she is a forward and we can’t wait to see her scoring goals.’

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