Mexican National Team star joins Wave FC through 2026, with mutual option for 2027

SAN DIEGO (April 20, 2024) – San Diego Wave FC have acquired veteran forward and Mexican National Team star María Sánchez from the Houston Dash. Sánchez will be under contract with the Wave through the 2026 season, with a mutual option for 2027. In exchange, the Wave will send $300,000 in Intra-League Transfer Funds, $200,000 in Allocation Money and an international slot in 2024 and 2025 to the Dash. 

“We are thrilled to bring María to San Diego and offer her a warm welcome to our club and community,” said San Diego Wave FC President Jill Ellis. “For club and country, María has been an integral part of every team she has been on and her talent will be a wonderful addition to the club.” 

Sánchez, 28, brings over 180 appearances in league and international play. The America Falls, Idaho native has played in 71 matches across all competitions in NWSL. The Wave’s newest signing has also represented Mexico in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Concacaf W Championship in 2022, Pan American Games in 2023 and the Concacaf W Gold Cup in 2024. 

The Mexican-American most recently featured for the Houston Dash, joining the club in Jan. 2022. In just over two seasons with the Dash, Sánchez featured in 62 total matches, including leading Houston to the club’s first-ever NWSL Playoff berth in her first season. She tallied 14 assists and scored eight goals. 

Prior to Houston, Sánchez competed in Liga MX Femenil for a two-year stint with C.D. Guadalajara and Tigres Femenil. Sánchez made her Liga MX debut with Guadalajara in 2020, playing 21 total matches for Chivas and scoring five goals in regular season play. In 2021, the attacker moved to Tigres and scored eight goals, leading the club to the league final. 

Before moving to Mexico, Sánchez began her professional career in 2019 when she was drafted by the Chicago Red Stars with the 15th overall pick in the NWSL Draft. She appeared in nine matches in her rookie campaign. 

Sánchez has been a standout for the Mexican Women’s National Team since making her debut in 2015 as she has made 70 appearances for the senior team. At the end of 2023, the forward had a strong outing at the 2023 Pan American Games, where she led El Tri as the captain in all five matches. Mexico would outscore its opponents 17-2 enroute to a gold medal. Sánchez became the first Mexican player to finish tied for the Golden Boot at the tournament with four goals. In the most recent international tournament, the W Gold Cup, Sánchez and Mexico made it to the semifinals after beating the U.S. Women’s National Team 2-0 in group play and Paraguay 3-2 in the quarterfinals. 

San Diego Wave FC return to Snapdragon Stadium this Saturday, April 27 to host Bay FC. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. PT and tickets are available here

TRANSACTION: San Diego Wave FC acquired María Sánchez from Houston Dash in exchange for $300,000 in Intra-League Transfer Funds, $200,000 in Allocation Money and an international slot in 2024 and 2025 to the Dash. 

Name: María Sánchez
Position: Forward
Height: 5’4
Date of Birth: February 20, 1996
Hometown: America Falls, Idaho
Citizenship: USA / Mexico
Last Club: Houston Dash