San Diego Wave FC season ready to begin

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Credit: SD Wave FC

After much anticipation, the NWSL schedule was released on Wednesday– days before the Challenge Cup is set to begin. This will be the 10th season of the NWSL, the highest level of soccer for women in the United States. 

San Diego Wave FC will begin its inaugural NWSL season in Houston when they face Houston Dash on Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m PT at PNC Stadium. 

The home opener for the Wave will take place on Saturday, May 7 at p.m PT when they face NY/NJ Gotham FC at Torero Stadium. 

“We are really excited about the announcement for our inaugural season,” head coach Casey Stoney said in a press release. “We have a big away game in Houston to start but are massively excited about our first opportunity to play at home in front of our San Diego FC fans.”

Credit: SD Wave FC

For the first time in league history, the NWSL will use a balanced schedule. That means that the Wave will play each team home and away to make up its 22-game schedule. The league consists of 12 teams, giving the Wave 11 opponents. 

The schedule release comes the day after the announcement of the 2022 roster and days away from its first official match against fellow NWSL newcomers Angel City FC, in its first match of the Challenge Cup on March 19. 

2022 San Diego Wave FC Roster as of March 15:

Goalkeepers (3): Carly Telford, Kailen Sheridan, Melissa Lowder


Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper, Christen Westphal, Kaleigh Riehl, Kayla Bruster, Mia Gyau, Naomi Girma, Taylor Hansen, Tegan McGrady


Midfielders (6): Belle Briede, Emily van Egmond, Kelsey Turnbow, Kristen McNabb, Sydney Pulver, Taylor Kornieck


Forwards (7): Alex Morgan, Amirah Ali, Jodie Taylor, Katie Johnson, Makenzy Doniak, Marleen Schimmer (INT), Sofia Jakobsson (INT)


While there are a few veteran names that stand out on the roster, soccer is a team game that relies on harnessing individual talent and fitting it into a system for the individuals and, most importantly, the team to succeed. 

When training camp started six weeks ago, most of the players on the team were playing with each other for the first time and were meeting the coaching staff for the first time. 

“It’s a very strange situation when every single person, including staff and players, is new,” Stoney said. “But hopefully everyone is settled now, and they know the environment, they know who we are as a coaching staff, and they know the way we want to play.”

For a new team to be successful, team chemistry is key. For the team chemistry, it helps to be able to have everyone healthy at training so they can learn how the others like to play. 

Credit: San Diego Wave

Defender Abby Dahlkemper has battled an injury during most of training camp but last week started training with the team again. 

“I think having players healthy and ready and available is the first and foremost most important thing,” Dahlkemper said. “We’re really excited to get started, and Casey (Stoney) and the coaching staff and everyone involved have been great, and we have been learning a lot.”

Stoney emphasized that she wants her team to build out of the back and that defense is the first level of attack. Having a veteran national team player of Dahlkemper’s caliber helps.

“It makes a vast difference,” Stoney said. “She’s a communicator. She’s a leader. She’s good on the ball. The fact that she can switch the point with ability and range makes a huge difference to the way we can play.”

San Diego Wave FC is the first time San Diego has been represented in the NWSL. Expansion teams have started and failed in the league, and the Wave are looking to avoid joining the clubs that don’t last very long. 

Alex Morgan is one of those big-name players that brings eyeballs to the new club. She has been a part of an expansion team before, most recently with the Orlando Pride– a club that still plays in the NWSL to this day. She’s at a different point in her career and now a seasoned veteran of the National team with 170 caps.

But this is different for her, and the experience with the Wave has been different. 

“I love the ambition and the fact that they’re looking at it from all angles,” Morgan said. “Not only from trying to build a team, but trying to build an organization we’re all proud to play in and a brand that people are proud to wear and represent a place of inclusivity for this community. So I think in general, it’s been a really incredible opportunity to be a part of this.”

The Wave plays its first game of the season on Saturday, March 19, at 6:00 p.m. when they take on Angel City FC in the first game of the Challenge Cup. 

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The first Wave game at Torero Stadium will take place on March 26 at 7:00 p.m. against Portland Thorns FC.

All Challenge Cup games and NWSL regular-season games can be streamed live on Paramount +.

1 thought on “San Diego Wave FC season ready to begin

  1. I had season tickets for the years the SD Spirit played at Toreros Stadium. I’m looking forward to attending games this year with our new SD team! Supporting our team is important for them to survive and prosper.

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