Houston Dash defender Niki Cross today announced her retirement from professional soccer after nearly eight years in various leagues. Cross’ final match with the Dash will be Saturday, August 1 at the Washington Spirit.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to the Houston organization. Everyone’s been super supportive of my decision,” Cross said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better club to retire with.”

Cross, 30, was acquired in a trade with the Washington Spirit this offseason. Cross has played in all 13 matches for the Dash this season, starting 12, and hasplayed both in defense and the midfield. The club will honor Cross following tonight’s home match vs. FC Kansas City (7:30 p.m. CT).

“For a player that’s only been here such a short time, Niki’s brought more than I could have asked from anybody,” head coach Randy Waldrum said. “She was going to retire but she decided it was the right thing to do to help us through the World Cup, and we’ll forever be indebted to her. We wouldn’t be where we are this season without her. All of the Dynamo and Dash organization, our fans and the Houston community really owe her a big round of applause and debt of gratitude for what she’s done for us this year.”

The Brockton, Massachusetts, native was a four-year letterwinner for the University of Connecticut Huskies. Cross then played in various leagues in the United States, Sweden and Australia before joining Bayern Munich from 2012-14, winning the Frauen DFB Pokal in her first year with the club. Cross returned to theUnited States and appeared in 10 matches for the Washington Spirit during the latter half of the 2014 season.

Cross’ final home match with the Dash is tonight vs. FC Kansas City (7:30 p.m. kickoff) at BBVA Compass Stadium. Tickets for the match are still available at the stadium box office or by calling (713) 276-GOAL.