Edited: added further statement from Press
Christen Press is not playing for the Houston Dash this season; in fact, she won’t be playing in NWSL at all, at least not for the first few months. Press is returning to Sweden to join Göteborg FC in a contract that runs to this summer, according to a translated press release from their website. Press soon confirmed the signing.
I'm looking forward to joining my former club @goteborgfc and having a successful three months there. Upwards!— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) March 26, 2018
For reasons that are clear to me and for the betterment of my career I have chosen to play overseas this season. I respect and appreciate the opportunity that Houston afforded me. Thank you to everyone supporting me through these tough decisions I've had to make for my career.— Christen Press (@ChristenPress) March 26, 2018
Press has played for several years in Sweden and spent 2012 at Göteborg before going to Tyresö. She has spoken before about how her time as a player in Sweden helped the mental side of her game, telling The Guardian, “I think a lot of my career and my life before I went to Sweden, I felt like I was trying to be someone else.”
Now as Press’ struggle to maintain control over the direction of her club career takes a breather, perhaps she’ll return to NWSL at the end of her Göteborg contract, assuming they don’t extend her signing. Either way, it’s absolutely crucial that she’s finally landed at a club; being an unaffiliated player cost Press a spot on the roster for the WNT’s upcoming friendlies against Mexico, as Jill Ellis very clearly spelled out in a USSF interview that she expects Press to find a club.
“We’ve had several conversations and she understands our expectations are that a consistent training and match environment for a professional is an important factor for selection into Women’s National Team rosters,” Ellis said of the decision.
After the April friendlies, Press’ next shot at a roster appears to be early June, when the WNT plays two games against China. Hopefully Sweden will once again be good for Press, and ultimately good for the WNT as well as they regain a focused striker coming out of a strong training environment.