Kailen Sheridan’s massive role with the San Diego Wave

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Kailen Sheridan Girma San Diego Wave 2023 Chicago
Credit: Jeremy Collins/EVT Sports

“Kailen is massive. When you’ve got a world-class goalkeeper, it just makes everybody in front of you comfortable. Her ability to keep the ball out of the net and make saves is the best in the world. I think we’re just really privileged to have a goalkeeper with such a standard in our club.”

That is how San Diego Wave head coach Casey Stoney described her goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan after San Diego’s NWSL Challenge Cup match against the Portland Thorns. The Canadian goalkeeper played another vital role in that match to help the Wave secure a 1-0 win to begin their Challenge Cup campaign.

Sheridan had this amazing performance fresh off an international window with the Canada national team, where she stopped 11 out of 13 shots in a friendly match against France. This is a huge 2023 season for Sheridan and several other Wave players, with the FIFA Women’s World Cup approaching in the summer.

The 27-year-old shot-stopper has played all possible minutes in San Diego’s official matches in 2023, and she is off to an enormous start with the southern California club. In the opening game of the season, Sheridan provided four saves from inside of the box to help the wave earn a hard-fought 3-2 victory in front of over 30 thousand fans at Snapdragon Stadium.

The Canadian keeper followed that up with another important showing against North Carolina, in a game where the Wave were able to cruise to a 3-1 win. Even in the Wave’s only loss of the season, a 1-0 away loss to OL Reign, Sheridan provided four saves and kept San Diego in the match for the entire game. It took an absolute wonder goal by Olivia Van der Jagt to surpass Sheridan in that game and give the 1-0 loss to the Wave.

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After that match came Sheridan’s first clean sheet of the season in the Wave’s 1-0 win against the Portland Thorns in the NWSL Challenge Cup. The international goalkeeper was able to keep Sophia Smith and the rest of the Portland offense at bay to help earn the three points from the match.

In the Wave’s last match, Sheridan earned her first clean sheet in the NWSL regular season as her two saves from inside of the box helped San Diego achieve a 2-0 away win at Angel City FC. The Canadian international has arguably been the best goalkeeper in NWSL to start the 2023 campaign and has clearly been one of, if not the best, player for the San Diego Wave.

Sheridan will be highly motivated with the upcoming World Cup, and this is a fantastic start to that long and winding road in the summer. The Wave recently added goalkeeper Shae Yanez, which just helps Sheridan even more, as creating a core group of goalkeepers and having that coverage on the bench is always valuable to a team and a starting goalkeeper.

The San Diego Wave will play their third home game of the NWSL regular season this Saturday, April 29, as the Orlando Pride visits Snapdragon Stadium. Hopefully, for the Wave, Sheridan will not be needed too much, but if she is required to perform, expect a “world-class” performance.

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