Thursday 8 December 2016

Stephanie's 'shock and disappointment' as her US dreams end suddenly

Emma Jane Hade and Ger Keville

Published 21/05/2015 | 02:30

Stephanie Roche: ‘I am now trying to figure out where I am going and what to do’.
Stephanie Roche: ‘I am now trying to figure out where I am going and what to do’.
'I wish the club all the best and have no hard feelings towards Houston Dash, it’s the rules of the league and they are very cut-throat'

Irish soccer star Stephanie Roche revealed she was "shocked and disappointed" that her American dream had come to a premature end, just three months after it began.

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The 25-year-old striker confirmed last night that she had been released from her year-long contract with Houston Dash. The club announced that Roche had been "waived" in order "to clear space on the roster" as they signed two new international players.

Stephanie described the news as a "big shock" and said she was very "disappointed".

This blow comes just months after Roche was announced as the runner-up of the 2014 Fifa Puskás Award, where she captured the attention of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as she strode past them.

Roche became a household name after a video of her wonder goal for Peamount United went viral.

She told how she received an email telling her to meet with the coach and the general manager of her US side Houston Dash that had "set alarm bells off".

"I was basically told that at the minute we have injuries at the back and the club needs more defenders. They can only sign so many international players and because I am one of the higher earners, they cut me," Stephanie said.

"It was a big shock, I was really enjoying it here. The manager liked me and told me I was one of the best finishers at the club. I didn't see it coming at all."

Not only does the heartbreaking news affect Stephanie's professional life, she now faces the prospect of having to search for accommodation in Houston while also figuring out if her future lies in America or back here.

"The woman I am staying with is giving me a few weeks until I get this sorted. In this league, although I had signed a year contract, they can break that whenever they want," she added.

"I wish the club all the best and have no hard feelings towards Houston Dash, it's the rules of the league and they are very cut-throat. I am now trying to figure out where I am going and what to do. There are a couple of clubs showing a bit of interest. If I don't get something, I will take it step by step."

After Peamount United, Stephanie joined French side ASPTT Albi but this partnership broke down as the soccer star said she was struggling with the language barrier.

Dash announced yesterday they had signed Australian defender Ellie Brush and Camila Martins Pereira from Brazil.

Houston Dash coach Randy Waldrum said he would really have liked to have given Stephanie "time", as she was "adapting". The Independent.ie columnist was the first Irish woman to transfer to National Women's Soccer League in the States.

Irish Independent

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