San Diego Wave: Girma, Sheridan, Stoney nominated for NWSL honors

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Credit: SD Wave

This Tuesday, October 24, the NWSL officially announced the finalists for the MVP award and all other honors within the league.

The San Diego Wave had three members of the team nominated for awards: as Naomi Girma is a finalist for MVP and Defender of the Year, Kailen Sheridan is a finalist to receive the Goalkeeper of the Year honor, and Casey Stoney was nominated for the Coach of the Year reward.

The San Diego Wave had a spectacular 2023 season, finishing top of the NWSL winning the NWSL Shield on the final matchday of the campaign. Both players nominated for rewards (Naomi Girma Kailen Sheridan) were an integral part of the Wave’s success this season, putting in spectacular performances throughout.

San Diego finished as the joint-second team with the least amount of goals conceded in the 2023 campaign, and this was in large part to Sheridan and Girma. Girma’s competition in the Defender of the Year honor includes Sarah Gorden (Angel City), Ali Krieger (Gotham), Kaleigh Kurtz (North Carolina) and Sam Staab (Washington).

The former Stanford Cardinal won the award last season, along with the NWSL Rookie of the Year award, as she looks to add to her individual accolades. Girma is among the favorites to take the DOTY award, but the MVP award offers more competition, ion with players like Sam Coffey (Portland), Debinha (Kansas City), Kerolin (North Carolina), and Sophia Smith (Portland) in the running. You can easily say that Girma contributed directly to several wins throughout the season for the Wave, and her impact has been rewarded with this nomination.

Kailen Sheridan’s competition for the Goalkeeper of the Year award includes Katie Lund of Racing Louisville and Jane Campbell of the Houston Dash. Sheridan was clearly the top Goalkeeper in the NWSL this season, with the joint-most clean sheets in the league with nine throughout the campaign. The Canadian shot-stopper is also tied for the least goals conceded, allowing 18 goals, the same as Jane Campbell, among the three goalkeepers that are nominated for the GOTY honor.

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Casey Stoney is nominated along with Gotham’s Juan Carlos Amoros and Angel City’s Becki Tweed for the Coach of the Year award. Stoney won the 2022 Coach of the Year award but will be looking to come away with both the award and the NWSL championship this year.

Stoney had to deal with several injuries and several key players away from the World Cup this season but still led the team to the NWSL Shield. All of this while not having the best home record but being able to come away with some very tough results on the road throughout the season.

The San Diego Wave will play their NWSL semifinal match against OL Reign on Sunday, November 5, at Snapdragon Stadium. Before this game, Alex Morgan, Naomi Girma, and Jaedyn Shaw will represent the USWNT and play a friendly against Colombia at Snapdragon Stadium on October 29.

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