- Associated Press - Sunday, March 11, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - When it comes to the uncertainty surrounding Christen Press, Houston Dash coach Vera Pauw says she will let management handle the situation.

In the meantime, she is preparing for the season.

The Houston Chronicle reported Friday that Press would not join the team this season. Press and the Dash have not made any formal statements about the situation.

“I’ve been reading the messages as well in the press, but the thing is I’ve got a team here. I’ve got a team that works,” said Pauw, a former Dutch international who was named Houston’s new coach in November.

“And I’m a coach. I’m not management. So I deal with the players that are here and I’m working my butt off to get the best players on the pitch and get the best players to play better, get the subs closer to the lineup and get the subs playing their task, so that every individual is growing to their super height,” she said.

The 29-year-old Press is one of the U.S. national team’s allocated players in the National Women’s Soccer League. She played for the Chicago Red Stars last season, but was sent to the Dash in a three-team trade on the day of the NWSL draft.

The deal also sent Carli Lloyd from the Dash to Sky Blue FC and Australian Sam Kerr from Sky Blue to Chicago. Press never acknowledged the deal on social media.

While she is not with the Dash, the team still holds her NWSL rights, which means she cannot sign with another team in the domestic league. But it does not preclude her from signing with a team overseas during the transfer window. There has been speculation she could return to Sweden, where she played in 2012-13.

Press has made 98 appearances with the national team with 44 goals. She had 11 goals and four assists in 23 games with the Red Stars last season.

The Dash were in Portland for a preseason tournament at the University of Portland with the Portland Thorns, the U.S. under-23 team and the Red Stars. Houston defeated the under-23 team 2-1 on Sunday.

“Whatever is happening with players who are not here, it is none of my business,” Pauw said.

Before joining the Dash, Pauw coached the South African women’s national team, which went to the 2016 Brazil Olympics and the semifinals of the African soccer championships in 2014.

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