Still holding a one-point lead on top of the NWSL table despite a loss in the first installment of the SoCal Derby, San Diego Wave FC concludes their July slate of home matches on Friday evening as they host Racing Louisville FC on a night where the club will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX at 7pm PDT from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego on Paramount+. San Diego checks in with a 6-3-3 record (21 Pts.) and continue to hold a slim one point over the Chicago Red Stars for first place in the NWSL. Louisville checks in tenth place in the table with a 2-5-4 record (10 Pts), and has lost three of their last five matches (0-3-2) entering Friday.
THE DROP-IN (Last Match): For the first time in the regular season, the SoCal Derby kicked off what hopes to be a beautiful rivalry between two Southern California cities and the two newest clubs in the NWSL, San Diego Wave FC and Angel City FC. In front of a capacity crowd at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, it would be Angel City scoring the first ever regular season derby victory with a 2-1 decision in their favor last Saturday. Kristen McNabb scored the lone Wave goal in the 60th minute.
IMPACT ZONE (All-Time Series): Louisville leads the all-time series 1-0-0, 3 Pts. The two clubs met up back on May 18th in Louisville for the first-ever meeting between the two sides. Savannah DeMelo would score the lone marker in the 27th minute of the match to give Louisville a 1-0 victory over San Diego from Lynn Family Stadium.
PORTS OF CALL (International Duty): Six members of Wave FC were called out to fulfill International Duty obligations with their respective National Teams. Alex Morgan, Taylor Kornieck, and Naomi Girma join the U.S. Women’s Team. Morgan, Kornieck, and Girma are in Monterrey, Mexico with Team USA competing in the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship from July 4-18. Team USA will face off against Kailen Sheridan and Team Canada in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship after both sides scored 3-0 Semi-Final victories to set up the final match for all the marbles.
Along with the members of Team USA and Canada, Emily van Egmond (Australia), and Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden) were the other two members away on International Duty for San Diego.
SWELL FACES (Roster Moves): Due to the roster shakeup with international duty, San Diego has signed three players to contracts to fill voids. The Wave welcomes Jackie Altschuld, Sydney Cummings, and Sarah Sodoma.
Altschuld is no stranger to San Diego, let alone Wave FC’s current home stadium as she is a graduate of the University of San Diego and has spent time playing professionally over in Iceland.
Cummings comes to town by way of Friday’s opponent, Racing Louisville FC where she was the 42nd overall pick of the 2022 NWSL draft after playing collegiately at Brown University and Georgetown.
Sodoma is coming off a college career that saw her win the Sun Belt Conference’s Player and Offensive Player of the year plus leaving Arkansas State as its leading scorer in program history.
2022 SAN DIEGO WAVE FC ROSTER:
Goalkeepers (3): Kailen Sheridan, Carly Telford, Melissa Lowder
Defenders (9): Abby Dahlkemper, Naomi Gima, Kaleigh Reihl, Tegan McGrady, Christen Westphal, Kayla Bruster, Mia Gyau, Taylor Hansen, Sydney Cummings (NTR)
Forwards (7): Amirah Ali, Jodie Taylor, Sofia Jakobsson, Alex Morgan, Makenzy Doniak, Katie Johnson, Sarah Sodoma (NTR)
Midfielders (8): Emily van Egmond, Kelsey Turnbow, Kristen McNabb, Sydney Pulver, Taylor Kornieck, Belle Briede, Marleen Schimmer, Jackie Altschuld (NTR)
NTR = National Team Replacement
ABOUT THE OPPONENT: RACING LOUISVILLE FC: Friday’s opponent is Racing Louisville FC, who has been struggling so far this season visits Torero Stadium. Louisville checks in tenth place in the NWSL table and have dropped three of their last five matches. Most recently, Louisville faltered to NJ/NY Gotham FC 2-1 at home back on July 8th. They will look to jump-start an offensive attack that has only scored ten goals on the season, paced by Savannah DeMelo and Nadia Nadim who share the team lead in scoring with three goals a piece.
SHORE BREAK (Goalkeeping Matchup): As the International Duty for Kalien Sheridan continues, San Diego is expected to turn back to Carly Telford for her third start of the season. Telford is 1-1-0 on the season. Louisville is expected to send Katie Lund into the box for her 12th start of the season; she carries a 2-5-4 record into the match.
OFFSHORE VIEWING (Where To Watch): Friday’s match will be played at 7pm PDT from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. Limited tickets remain available at sandiegowavefc.com. Fans can watch the match on Paramount+.
50 YEARS OF TITLE IX: The Wave will commemorate and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX on Friday evening with dignitaries on hand along with a sports bra drive to benefit The Sports Bra Project, which increases access to sports for women and girls by removing barriers to participation by providing sports bras to athletes who don’t have access to such a basic piece of equipment.
QUOTES (courtesy of the Wave FC Communications Team):
Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney
On bouncing back on Friday versus Racing Louisville: “It’s been a really good week of prep. Obviously, it’s a short week with the Friday night game. We needed to bounce back in terms of learning our lessons from the previous defeat. We were obviously bitterly disappointed not to come away with any points. We had some really open and honest conversations after that, and we’ve prepared well now, and the team knows what’s required to bounce back on Friday.”
On the positives from the Angel City FC match to bring into this match: “I looked at the stats after the game, and we dominated in large areas. Albeit we caused our own problems on both goals. So, we know that’s solvable, and we created chances arguably to win the game and didn’t take them, so they are the positives that we’ll take, and I think we need to build on that obviously to get maximum points on Friday.”
On her strategy during the international window within her own team and in scouting opponents: “The biggest challenge probably was Washington because they had so many away, so to be able to scout them and know how they were going to perform individually in terms of their personnel was difficult, but we know their kind of philosophy and trends, so we could prepare for that. And I’ve got a really good roster, so even when players leave, I trust my players that are here, and they’ve performed. Albeit we weren’t great on Saturday night (versus Angel City FC) and albeit we lost, we still created probably arguably the best chances of the game and came away with nothing. So, I’ve been really proud of their response during the time that the internationals have been away. I always say it’s a moment of opportunity for them, so yeah obviously Angel City wasn’t missing that many. Louisville isn’t missing that many, so we know that we’re missing more, but it’s a great opportunity for us to go and have a go and see what we can get even with those players away.”
On missing Naomi Girma in the backline and her recent USWNT performances: “I follow all my players closely whilst they’re away because I want to know how they are, if they’re playing and how they’re getting on. And Naomi’s done well, and to be honest, it’s not a surprise to me because she’s a class defender. We do miss her when she’s away. We do know that because of the way she plays and the ground she covers, but at the same time, it’s given a great opportunity for Abby to come back in and get playing time. And for Abby, who hasn’t played consistently now for a long time, it’s about getting her back in and accepting that she’s probably going to be on a bit of a journey because she’s not played for a long time, but it’s great to get 90 minutes in the bank for her and her confidence week in and week out. And for her and Kaleigh to build a partnership whilst Naomi’s away.”
Wave FC Defender Kaleigh Riehl
On the upcoming Racing Louisville match: “We know that Louisville will be a great opponent, just like all the other opponents that we play. We’ve been looking at a lot of videos about some of their tendencies and how we want to approach the game. The last game wasn’t our best game, so we’re looking at some changes to make both tactically and mentality-wise, so we’re in preparation mode, and we’re really excited for this upcoming game.”
On changes in mentality going into Friday’s match: “I think that we’re going to approach the game with an aggressive mentality. We really want to be on the front foot and get after them. In terms of mentality, that’s what we’re looking for. And we want to get three points, so we need everyone to show up and give their best effort.”
Wave FC Forward Katie Johnson
On motivation to perform coming back from an injury: “There’s always something to prove, and I’ve been trying to help the team when I come off the bench and be that spark of energy. I think coming back from this injury dealing with hamstring stuff, I definitely feel a little more rested, so I think it was easier for me to come on and bring a little more energy in the game.”
On playing in the NWSL: “It’s a great opportunity. I think it’s the best league in the world, so I get to play with and against some of the best players, and I think it helps me become a better player, so I’m just really thankful to play in this league.”