San Diego Wave add midfielder Danielle Colaprico

Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Wave FC
Credit: San Diego Wave

On Monday morning, the San Diego Wave picked up midfielder Danielle Colaprico from free agency, bringing her into the squad for the 2023 season.

Colaprico, a 29-year-old from New Jersey, joins the Wave from the Chicago Red Stars, who drafted her back in 2015. She’ll join a crowded midfield that includes Taylor Kornieck, Kelsey Turnbow, and Emily Van Egmond for the club’s second season.

Colaprico was a four-year starter at Virginia, leaving the Cavaliers as their leader in appearances (100) and assists (44). She helped her side to the semifinals of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament in 2013 before taking them to the final in 2014.

She went ninth in the 2015 NWSL college draft but found immediate success. She beat out Sofia Huerta and Sam Mewis for the “Rookie of the Year” award, helping Chicago to finish second in the league, losing just three games all season. She also made the second XI of the NWSL in each of her first three seasons in the league. She spent the next three years on loan in Australia, most of it with Adelaide United. However, in her final year, she played for Sydney FC, winning the W-League championship. 

She then returned back to Chicago, playing as a regular starter for the side. She started in the NWSL playoff game between the Wave and Red Stars, playing all 120 minutes in the midfield.

Colaprico hasn’t found her way into the national team much, and she’ll likely be passed over by younger players in the future. She’s got two appearances for the USWNT, appearing in a pair of friendlies against Portugal and Scotland. With the Women’s World Cup coming in the middle of the club season, Colaprico could be one of the Wave’s best players who stays with the squad in June. Van Egmond and Kornieck both made their way into the Swedish and American squads for the international breaks last season, which could be a major reason why Casey Stoney sought to add the midfielder.

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She’s been very healthy, having made more than 20 appearances in every season she’s spent in the NWSL except one. She played in all 23 matches for the Red Stars last season, starting 20. Despite the Red Stars success over the past few seasons, they never won the NWSL. Chicago lost in the final in 2019 and 2021, which will make Colaprico even hungrier to lift the trophy for the first time.

Stoney wouldn’t have moved to add the former Virginia star if she didn’t see her as a player who would start for the side. Turnbow would be the candidate to be replaced, as she failed to score in 23 matches last season. It’ll be very intriguing to see what the Wave’s lineup looks like in 2023 as they seek to win theirs, and Colaprico’s, first NWSL title.

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