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Clare Polkinghorne leaves Houston Dash due to ‘personal family reasons’

Polkinghorne, a key member of the Australian national team, started 18 games for the Dash.

Piscataway, NJ - Sky Blue FC vs Houston Dash at Yurcak Field.(Courtesy of Houston Dash).

HOUSTON — Houston Dash defender Clare Polkinghorne has left the club effective immediately due to “personal family reasons,” the club announced Thursday.

The 30-year-old will return to her native Australia, the club said.

Polkinghorne became part of Houston back in June of 2018 and has been essential to the Dash back line, playing 18 games, all of them in the starting lineup. Prior to that, the centerback became the first player to earn 100 caps in the Australian W-League with her hometown club, Brisbane Roar FC.

The Dash was Polkinghorne’s second stint in the National Women’s Soccer League. She was previously part of Portland Timbers back in 2015.

Polkinghorne played in the 2019 World Cup with the Australian national team, appearing in two games in France with the Matildas. Polkinghorne has appeared in 118 games for her national team and has netted nine goals. She also won the Tournament of Nations in 2017 and she was part of the Australian team in the Cup of Nations victory in 2019.

Several of Polkinghorne’s teammates said they already miss her. Houston will have to go on without one of their key players for the rest of the season, including Saturday’s home game against Sky Blue FC at BBVA Stadium.

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