The long and winding road leads San Diego Wave FC (4-2-1, 13 Pts.) back home for a two-match homestand as the Wave roll back into Torero Stadium on Wednesday evening for a matchup against the Two-Time NWSL Champions, Portland Thorns FC (2-1-3, 6 Pts.) at 7pm PDT for the club’s inaugural Pride Night. Despite a 1-2-1 road trip, the Wave remains on top of the NWSL table with 13 Points, one point clear of the Houston Dash (12 Pts.), and two points ahead of the Chicago Red Stars (11 Pts.).
SURFIN’ U.S.A. (Road Trip recap): After a successful start at home in their first two home matches of the season, San Diego hit the road on a four-match road swing that began on May 18th in Louisville, Kentucky against Racing Louisville FC. A match full of physical play and four issued yellow cards saw just one goal scored for the home side as Savannah DeMelo tallied a 27th-minute marker for Louisville who kept the San Diego offense at bay and secured the 1-0 victory, giving the Wave their first loss of the season.
Just four days later, the Wave headed to Cary, North Carolina to face off with the North Carolina Courage. Despite being outshot 14-8 and with Shots On Goal being even at two a piece, Alex Morgan cashed in the lone tally after a beautiful pass from midfield by Taylor Kornieck roughly four minutes before Halftime to put Wave FC on top 1-0, and that’s where the scoreline stayed at Full Time with San Diego winning their fourth win in five matches.
The next to last stop of the road trip was in Seattle, Washington at Lumen Field where the Wave met up with the OL Reign. San Diego’s offense was stifled on May 29th with Rose Lavell’s 75th-minute Goal being the only goal for either side, as the Reign held off the Wave.
THE DROP-IN (Last Match): In the final match of a four-match road trip, Alex Morgan scored her 7th and 8th goals of the season, including the match tying goal in the 90th minute as the Wave were able to rescue a point in a 2-2 tie against the Kansas City Current at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. San Diego ended the road trip at 1-2-1.
2022 SAN DIEGO WAVE FC ROSTER:
Goalkeepers (3): Kailen Sheridan, Carly Telford, Melissa Lowder
Defenders (8): Abby Dahlkemper, Naomi Gima, Kaleigh Reihl, Tegan McGrady, Christen Westphal, Kayla Bruster, Mia Gyau, Taylor Hansen
Forwards (6): Amirah Ali, Jodie Taylor, Sofia Jakobsson, Alex Morgan, Makenzy Doniak, Katie Johnson
Midfielders (7): Emily van Egmond, Kelsey Turnbow, Kristen McNabb, Sydney Pulver, Taylor Kornieck, Belle Briede, Marleen Schimmer
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: Portland Thorns FC comes to town on Wednesday evening and is currently sitting in fifth place with a 2-1-3 record (9 Pts.) Portland is coming off of a resounding 3-0 victory on June 3rd against Angel City FC. Christine Sinclair scored a pair of goals while Kelli Hubly opened the scoring in the 15th minute as Portland outshot Angel City 9-2 with Shots On Goal and Bella Bixby made two saves while recording the clean sheet for Portland. The Thorns are also Two-Time NWSL Champions, winning the title in 2013 and 2017.
WAVE WATCHING (Player to Watch): Nothing has changed, Alex Morgan leads the NWSL in scoring with eight goals on the season, and half of them have come from the Penalty Spot. Keep an eye out for Morgan at the Penalty Spot if San Diego’s offensive attack can generate chances that could lead to a Penalty Kick.
SHOREBREAK (Goalkeeper Matchup): Kailen Sheridan is expected to be in goal for San Diego. Sheridan ranks seventh in the NWSL with seven games played and 18 saves made to go along with a 4-2-1 record. Bella Bixby is fresh off of a clean sheet for Portland and checks in with 6 games played and a 2-1-3 record while ranking fifth in the NWSL with 20 saves made.
SHOW YOUR PRIDE: Wednesday’s match against Portland will be the inaugural Pride Night match hosted by Wave FC in conjunction with San Diego Pride and presented by Proven Recruiting. The first 4,000 fans through the Torero Stadium gates will receive a Pride Rally Towel.
OFFSHORE VIEWING (Where to Watch): Wednesday’s match will begin at 7pm PDT from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego and will be broadcasted nationwide on CBS Sports Network.
QUOTES (from the last match in Kansas City, courtesy of the Wave FC Communications Team):
Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney on the team’s performance: “It was probably one of our poorest performances as a collective and that starts with me in terms of the set-up of the team. On Wednesday, we need to react and recover. Obviously, it’ll be a tough game Wednesday against Portland. I have to credit the resilience and the character to get a point today when arguably we could’ve been out of the game long before. Real credit to the team with the character shown to take a point from here. I felt like [Kansas City] created problems for us up top tonight with their front two, so it’s something we need to look at, analyze and improve very quickly ahead of Wednesday.
Casey Stoney on impressive shifts made by rookie Naomi Girma: “That’s full credit to Naomi [Girma]. She’s extremely coachable and she came in like that. She’s gotten better and better every week. She’s a very mature player in her approach. Her game understanding is excellent, so that’s a credit to her and her hard work, coachability, and how much attention she pays to the details. We’re very, very lucky that we have her.”
Sofia Jakobsson on Alex Morgan scoring eight goals in seven matches: “I’ve known her for many years. I know she’s an amazing player, who scores a lot of goals and I’m really happy to have a player of her caliber on our team.”
Alex Morgan on the reason behind her eight goals in seven matches: “The reason I’m getting these goals is because we’re getting shots inside the 18-yard box, we’re forcing handballs from opponents, Sofia [Jakobsson] is making amazing crosses and the ball just lays up for me. The wave of attack that we’ve had has given us more opportunities inside the box to put these goals away.”