San Diego talent returns home; Wave sign Kyra Carusa

Credit: SD Wave FC

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Credit: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

San Diego Wave FC announced on Wednesday, August 16, the signing of Kyra Carusa, a 27-year-old forward from San Diego, through the end of the 2023 NWSL season on a free transfer from the London City Lionesses. 

Carusa most recently played for the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she started all three games in the group stage. She had some good chances and performances in those matches, but the team was unable to escape the group of death with Nigeria, Canada, and host nation Australia. 

“I don’t think that you would’ve told 18-year-old me that you’d be in the World Cup one summer and then the next week playing with a professional team here in San Diego and get to do that full circle experience,” Carusa said. “I wouldn’t even think it was imaginable at that time, but it’s kind of wild now that I’m sitting here, and it’s actually happened.”

Carusa said in her introductory press conference on Thursday that she is very familiar with the Wave’s training grounds as they share the Polo Fields in Del Mar with San Diego Surf, a historic youth soccer club that has produced many professional soccer players from San Diego, including Carusa. 

Carusa graduated from Del Norte High School in 2014 before attending Stanford University, where she won a national championship in 2017 as a redshirt junior scoring the opening goal in the 3-2 victory against UCLA. She also played alongside fellow Wave player Belle Briede who was a freshman at the time. 

Carusa has played professionally since 2019, debuting with the French club Le Havre AC and won two back-to-back championships with  HB Køge in Denmark’s domestic league, Kvinde 1. Division, scoring 30 goals and 13 assists over 57 appearances. She later moved on to England’s second-tier league with the London City Lionesses.  

She also plays international soccer with the Republic of Ireland, as she gained citizenship through her grandparents on her mother’s side of the family. Since debuting for the national team in February 2020, Carusa has scored twice across 14 appearances. 

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Her family has already played football in Mission Valley as her father, Rick Carusa, played American football in college for the SDSU Aztecs for two seasons in 1979 and 1980 as a linebacker getting an interception both years. 

Carusa provides much-needed depth at the forward position, which has been very weak for some time before and during the World Cup window without USWNT star Alex Morgan and some time without forward Kelsey Turnbow due to injury. The Wave are currently on one of their worst stretches in their short two-year existence as they are winless through nine straight matches across all competitions and haven’t won since June 4 against Gotham FC and haven’t won at home since May 20. 

“We’ve struggled without Alex (Morgan) to really get goals in this window. We lacked an out-and-out number nine at times,” Head Coach Casey Stoney said.  “We’ve had a few injuries, so we haven’t been able to put people in that would have been ideal to put in. 

“She’s a slightly different striker than Alex, so depending on the game, hopefully, gives us more options in terms of differences in profile.” 

Carusa will likely be available for the Wave’s next game against Gotham FC  on Saturday, August 19. 

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