In an attempt to strengthen the depth in the midfield of this new San Diego Wave squad, The Wave acquired three new midfielders this past weekend.
The Wave acquired the rights to midfielders Emily Van Egmond and Taylor Kornieck of the Orlando Pride in a trade the morning of Monday the 17 while two days prior, on Sunday the 16, they were able to add midfielder/defender Mia Gyau from Duke University to the squad.
Kornieck was drafted by the Pride with the third overall pick in the 2020 NWSL Draft. The 6-foot-1 midfielder was the highest-ever selection by the Pride. In her single season with the Pride, Kornieck made 26 appearances (starting 17 of them) and contributed with three goals and three assists.
Before being selected third overall by the Pride, Kornieck was a four-year starter for the Colorado Buffaloes at the University of Colorado Boulder from 2016 to 2019. In her career with the Buffaloes, Kornieck made a total of 82 appearances and scored 39 goals while winning honors such as Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, becoming the first All-American for the Buffaloes since 2006 and earning All Pac-12 honors every year of her collegiate career. Kornieck then left the Buffaloes as the program’s all-time leader in points (102) and assists (24).
Van Egmond originally signed with the Pride on Feb. 14, 2018, via the league’s Discovery mechanism, which allows teams to sign players who are not currently under contract with the league and whose rights are not controlled by a team through another mechanism.
After two seasons with the Pride, Van Egmond was sent to West Ham United in England’s FA Women’s Super League after the 2020 NWSL season was canceled due to COVID-19. After providing seven goals and two assists in her 26 appearances with the London-based club, West Ham then signed Van Egmond to a permanent deal on Jan. 8, but the Pride then retained her rights and brought the midfielder back on Oct. 7 until the end of the 2021 NWSL season.
Once Van Egmond rejoined the Pride, she added two more appearances for the club during their 2021 playoff push and totaled 59 minutes. In the entirety of Van Egmond’s career with the pride, she made a total of 27 appearances and added two assists but could not find the back of the net.
Van Egmond also has plenty of experience playing many clubs around the world. She has had five separate stints with her hometown club, the Newcastle Jets, in Australia’s A-league, where she totaled 59 appearances. She also played 12 matches for Wolfsburg In Germany, where she scored five goals which aided the German team to a first-place finish in the Frauen-Bundesliga in two consecutive seasons.
Van Egmond has also played for a couple of other teams in the NWSL. She made six appearances for Seattle Reign FC in 2013 and 10 appearances for the Chicago Red Stars in 2014, where at the age of 20, she contributed with two goals and two assists.
“The acquisition of both Emily and Taylor are fantastic additions to help bolster our midfield area and give us the ability to compete as a brand new team in this extremely competitive league,” said Wave FC head coach Casey Stoney in a statement. “Emily has vast experience in different leagues across the world and is a centurion at international level, which is a great achievement and something that will really add to our squad. Taylor has already proved herself at NWSL level with some match-winning performances and has a bright future ahead of her. I am very much looking forward to working with them both.”
The Wave also announced the signing of midfielder/defender Mia Gyau this weekend to their inaugural squad for the 2022 season.
Gyau, 23, joins the Wave after a long and, at many times, painful career at Duke University. Gyau made her debut for the Blue Devils in 2016 but faced three consecutive injury setbacks, tearing her ACL and MCL during her sophomore season, before tearing her right Achilles the following season. Then her left Achilles the year after that. After missing a large array of games through injury, Gyau received a medical redshirt which allowed her to ultimately play through the 2020 campaign and start in all her 21 games. In her five seasons with the Blue Devils, Gyau made 59 appearances and scored three goals and four assists.
Gyau also comes from a multigenerational soccer family: Her brother Joe plays in the MLS for FC Cincinnati and has been capped at the U.S. Men’s National Team level, her father Phillip was a U.S. international as well, and her grandfather Joseph “Nana” Gyau was a Ghanaian international. So it is evident that soccer runs deep in the Gyau family. Hopefully, Mia Gyau can bring her family’s soccer expertise to San Diego and provide the Wave squad with some much-needed depth in the midfield and defensive areas.
With training camp set to open up in a couple of weeks in preparation for the Challenger Cup beginning on Saturday, March 19. We are yet to see where each of these players will fit into the rotation of this Wave squad in their inaugural season.
But one thing is for certain, this Wave team is no joke and is going to look to compete at the highest level this season. The NWSL should be on high alert.