By Hal Kaiser
The Houston Dash have acquired forward Katie Stengel today from the Utah Royals in exchange for two NWSL College Draft picks. The Dash also received a 2020 NWSL College Draft pick from Utah.
Stengel played college soccer with Wake Forest University. Following graduation, she opted to skip the 2014 NWSL College Draft and instead signed with Bayern Munich in the Frauen-Bundesliga, scoring nine goals en route to their 2014-15 season title.
Following the German season, Stengel decided to return to play in NWSL and the Dash under Randy Waldrum made a push alongside the Washington Spirit to sign her. Ultimately, she ended up in Washington as part of the 2016 team that lost in the NWSL Championship to the Western New York Flash on penalties (3-2). Stengel converted one of the two Spirit penalty opportunities, the other came from Christine Nairn, also currently with the Dash.
Stengel made 19 appearances for Washington in that 2016 season including 10 starts, scoring 4 goals and adding an assist. She appeared in five games for Washington the following season, not finding the back of the net before being released. Boston Breakers claimed her through the waivers process. She made 12 appearances for Boston including 7 starts, scoring zero goals but providing one assist.
When Boston folded at the start of the 2018 season, Utah selected Stengel in the 2nd round of the Dispersal Draft, one spot after the Houston Dash who selected Lotta Ökvist.
Her most productive season in NWSL came in 2018 when she scored 6 goals in 12 appearances (10 starts). In 2019 she made 24 appearances (16 starts), scoring 2 goals with an assist.
To acquire Stengel, the Dash gave up their natural 2nd round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft (12th overall) as well as their natural 2021 NWSL College Draft pick. That leaves the team with only the 18th overall pick in this years NWSL College Draft. Utah sent a 2020 3rd round draft pick (22nd overall) to Houston.
Commenting on the Stengel acquisition, Houston Dash head coach James Clarkson said, “Adding Katie to our squad is a vital piece in how we want to play and provides us tactical flexibility. We are all excited she is joining us.”