(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Houston Dash have signed forward María Sánchez to a two-year deal from UANL Tigres Femenil, the team announced Thursday.

The Mexican-American player most recently helped Tigres reach the league final on Dec. 20 against C.F. Monterrey Femenil. During the team’s playoff run, Sánchez scored five goals through three games, including braces against Cruz Azul and C.F. America.

“It is fantastic to be adding Maria to the team,” Dash head coach James Clarkson said. “She is an outstanding player and a wonderful person. She’s going to have a major impact on the league this season.”

Sánchez returns to the Dash after they acquired her rights in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars. In three appearances with the Dash during a short-term loan in June, the forward scored her first NWSL goal to help Houston beat Orlando on June 26.

Drafted No. 15 overall in the 2019 NWSL Draft, she appeared in nine matches for the Chicago Red Stars.

Sanchez was one of nine players the Dash opted to protect during the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft.

“Joining the Dash is such a privilege for me,” Sánchez said. “It’s getting another shot at my dream, and I couldn’t be more excited to do it with a team and coaching staff that I have tremendous respect for!”

Sánchez has spent some time with the Mexican Women’s National Team, notching five goals in 39 appearances for El Tri. She was also part of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad as the second youngest player on the team.

As the forward was born in Idaho, she qualifies as a domestic player and will not occupy an international roster spot.

The Dash now have 19 players under contract for the 2022 season.