San Diego Wave face Angel City without national team players in NWSL Challenge Cup

Girma Angel City 2023 Wave

Credit: Don De Mars/EVT Sports

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Shaw Ali Wave 2023 Angel City
Credit: Don De Mars/EVT Sports

San Diego Wave FC head up the freeway to play their third NWSL Challenge Cup match of the season when they face their Southern California rivals, Angel City FC, for the third time this season at 7:30 p.m on Wednesday, June 27, in BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

Overall the Wave’s record against Angel City consists of three wins, one draw, and two losses across all competitions.

The two sides split their NWSL regular season matches against each other, both winning at the other team’s stadium. Their most recent meeting resulted in a 2-1 win for Angel City when they had just fired their head coach, Freya Coombe, earlier that week. 

Both teams will be without many of their key players who have left to their national teams to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. San Diego will not have Naomi Girma, Alex Morgan, Kailen Sheridan, Sofia Jakobsson, and Emily van Egmond. Meanwhile, Angel City will be without Alyssa Thompson and Julie Ertz. 

To supplement their roster, the Wave added three National Team Replacement Players to help this summer, Chai Cortez, Sydney Cummings, and Shea Connors. 

Connors is a forward who spent many successful years in two Australian leagues scoring 78 goals in the National Premier League as a forward, and Cummings, a defender, spent last season in the A-League Women as an international player for Western United. Cummings has a women’s soccer podcast called ‘Megged’ and was also a National Team Replacement Player for the Wave last season but did not get any minutes. 

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Cortez is a defender who recently graduated from the University of Oregon, where she spent five years tying for 7th in assists and 10th most games played in school history. She went undrafted in the 2023 NWSL draft but spent the preseason with the Houston Dash as a non-roster invitee.

The Wave have played very well on the road this season, earning four straight shutouts in their away matches, but have yet to score in their two NWSL Challenge Cup, with their only goal coming from an own goal against the Portland Thorns in a 1-0 victory. 

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