Head coach of San Diego Wave FC, Casey Stoney, started her media availability by saying the offseason is too long.
The coach doesn’t need to wait much longer, as the NWSL season is just around the corner in San Diego. The San Diego Wave FC started their preseason camp on Monday, February 5, in preparation for the 22-game campaign that will begin on March 25.
San Diego Wave come into the season with high expectations after a historic inaugural year that featured the best record an expansion side in the NWSL has ever had. The Wave made it to the semi-finals of the NWSL championship. The team also set the league’s attendance record with 32,000 fans in their first game in the newly constructed Snapdragon Stadium.
Stoney highlighted the talent the team added during the winter as they added multiple experienced players, such as Chicago Red Stars veteran players like midfielder Danielle Colaprico and forward Rachel Hill.
“The vibes around camp are really good,” midfielder Madison Pogarch said. “We’ve lost some of our team to national team duty, but I think It’s an exciting time for us to build on what it’s going to be like for the world cup.”
The 2023 Women’s World Cup this summer is a massive storyline for the Wave, as it will likely take away several starters from San Diego. Most notably, for the USWNT, Naomi Girma, Alex Morgan, and Taylor Kornieck will likely be selected for the World Cup as they already will be playing for their country in the SheBelieves Cup taking place next week.
Stoney spoke about her thoughts on the role that Kornieck will be playing with the USWNT as an isolated six rather than the traditional attacking midfield 10 role she flourished in last season.
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“I like to give Taylor (Kornieck) a little bit more flexibility in her game than that… I don’t see Taylor in that light for us,” Stoney said. “I think we’d be taking away some of her strengths if she played as an isolated six.
Other starters like midfielder Sofia Jakobson, and star goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan for Sweden and Canada, respectively, will also likely be out during the summer for the Women’s World Cup.
San Diego Wave has a closed scrimmage against USC and an open preseason scrimmage on March 18 that will be limited to season ticket holders. The match will be in preparation for the official start of the NWSL season in their home opener on Saturday, March 25, where they will take on Chicago Red Stars.
Abraham Zepeda is a bilingual Chula Vista Native covering the Tijuana Xolos for EVT. He spent the summer of 2022 covering San Diego Loyal SC and San Diego Wave FC. He is also currently a student at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in journalism.