After a thrilling road victory in Chicago last weekend, San Diego Wave FC returns home for a three-match home stand to begin the month of August as they host the Kansas City Current at 2pm Pacific Time from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego streaming live on Paramount+. The Wave enters the match in a tie with the Portland Thorns at the top of the table with 25 Pts. (7-3-4), the Current enter Sunday’s matchup with a 5-4-4 record, 19 Pts. and hold the 6th and final playoff seed in the NWSL.
THE DROP IN (Last Match): On the road in Chicago at famed Soldier Field, the Wave took on the Chicago Red Stars to wrap up the regular season series. It would be more instant offense for San Diego coming from recently added 17-year-old Jayden Shaw in her NWSL debut coming 27 minutes into the match to give the Wave a 1-0 lead. San Diego’s lead withstood 20 shots from Chicago’s offensive attack, four yellow cards including two issued to Abby Dahlkemper, and a potential backbreaking moment when the Wave awarded Chicago a Penalty Kick in the 81st minute. Kailen Sheridan stood tall and calmly made a diving save to deny the tying marker to preserve the lead and above all else, the 1-0 victory for San Diego and a sweep of the regular season series against Chicago.
IMPACT ZONE (All-Time Series): San Diego and Kansas City are 0-0-1 (1 Pt.) against each other with the first meeting of the season coming back in late May as the Wave relied on a pair of Alex Morgan goals to roar back to capture a 2-2 tie at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.
PORT OF CALL (International Duty): Not a bad week for Jayden Shaw. Following her NWSL debut and her first NWSL Goal, Shaw has since been called up to represent Team USA, which is currently in Costa Rica for the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
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: KANSAS CITY CURRENT: The club vying for the final playoff spot at this stage of the NWSL season visits Torero Stadium on Sunday in the Kansas City Current. Kansas City enters Sunday’s matchup with a 5-4-4 record, 19 Pts. and holds the 6th and final playoff seed in the NWSL. The Current is coming off of a 2-2 tie with the Orlando Pride on July 31st from Children’s Mercy Park. Kansas City’s offense is led by Kristen Howard, who leads the club in scoring with four goals.
SHORE BREAK (Goalkeeping Matchup): Kailen Sheridan will be expected to be in the net for San Diego. Sheridan made the second Penalty Kick save for the Wave in two matches following the heroics of Carly Telford on July 15th against Racing Louisville FC. Adrianna Franch has started 12 of a possible 13 matches for Kansas City with a 1.33 Goals Against Average and 46 Saves Made.
OFFSHORE VIEWING (Where To Watch): Sunday’s match will take place at 2pm Pacific Time from Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. Limited tickets remain available on sandiegowavefc.com. Fans who cannot make the game on Sunday can watch it live on Paramount+.
QUOTES (courtesy of Wave FC’s Communications Team):
Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney:
On this Saturday’s match versus Kansas City Current: “Another huge game. Obviously, when we previously played Kansas, they gave us lots of problems, especially their two up front, so we know it’s going to be a really difficult game. I’m really proud obviously of the resilience we showed last week, albeit, I think we can be better with the ball. I have to respect them, they’re a really good team, and they’ve gone on a really good run. They have not lost a game for a while, so I have a lot of respect for them, and Matt has done a great job as the head coach there. We know it’s going to be a really difficult game, but we’re at home, so we’re going to have a go as we always do.”
On implementing changes since San Diego last faced Kansas City: “Yeah, it was a really tough game. I thought they were exceptional that night, so we know that we’re going to be in for a real test. We’re at home, so the emphasis is on us to attack and to take our game to them, which we certainly will do.”
On being on top of the table as a first-year team, first-year coach in the NWSL, and if it’s possible to be satisfied: “Number one, I’m never satisfied. My players would tell you that. We’re first in the league, but we’re also another team to drop points. We’re first in the league because I’ve got a great group of players. They work hard every day, they go out and perform. We’ve picked up points where we’ve needed to, but we also know we’ve got big games ahead. This league is absolutely wild when it comes to results and transitions. You know, you can be comfortable in a game and then uncomfortable within two minutes of a game. You can feel like you’ve won it in the 90th minute and then you see score lines like 2-0 up in the 90th minute and someone can come back up 2-2, so it’s a crazy league. It’s exciting. I’m sure it’s one for the fans that they love. So I’m really pleased with the players and our development, but there’s so much more to come.”
On back line adjustments with Abby Dahlkemper being out this match: “I don’t have to make any adjustments. Kaleigh Riehl has been outstanding when she’s come in this season, so it’ll be the same again.”
Areas to work on after last Saturday’s result in Chicago: “We need to use the ball better, we know that. We scored a goal, created a couple of chances. Chicago put a lot of pressure on us. The huge part for us was how we defended our box was immense, so we need to build on that, and then how we use the ball, how we’re patient in certain moments, and how we can keep the ball for longer periods is something we really need to focus and work on.”
On if everything she went through as a player and coach has been worth it, seeing England win the Euros: “Yeah, and I think that’s where the emotion came from. It took about 56 years of hurt. The game was banned for 50 years in England. Women weren’t allowed to play on pitches. And the game in England is very different. You know, I come here every day, and I see young girls playing soccer, and it’s encouraging, and it’s part of the culture here. It definitely wasn’t that way. It’s changing in England. Has it changed fully? No, you still have one hour of physical education in PE in school but girls still don’t play football in school. So, when you grow up your entire career being told you shouldn’t be doing something just because of your gender, then you’re treated as a second-class citizen in most of the clubs you’ve been to. You’re not allowed to use the facilities, you’re not allowed to use the pitches. It’s really, really difficult, so yeah, I cried because all of those who paved the way for me, made a huge difference. And then, hopefully, my generation made a difference for those who went out there on the weekend and won. I think I was more emotional because I’m a mum now. I’ve got two little girls and a little boy, and I want him to grow up knowing that they’re his equal, and I want them to grow up with the same opportunities as him. So yea, I think it was a huge moment, not just in football, but in society in England.”
Wave FC Defender Naomi Girma:
On last Saturday’s win against the Chicago Red Stars: “I think last weekend’s game was a hard-fought battle for us. Going down to ten players in the second half wasn’t ideal, but I think we showed good mentality and a good fight to come out with a win.”
On adjustments she’ll make going into Saturday’s match (with Abby Dahlkemper being out): “I think I’m just going to try and help the team as much as I can. Kansas City will give us a different front line than Chicago did, so we’re just adjusting our tactics for that, but other than that, I think I’ll go out the same way I usually do.”
What has worked well for Wave FC defensively and what Kailen Sheridan has meant for the team this season: “I think defensively, we’ve been tightening up our game throughout the season. I think it’s been the whole team coming together and making sure we execute the game plan. Last game, you saw midfielders and forwards all defending the box, just making sure we don’t let the other team get shots off. So I think it’s been a big mentality thing for us, and I think it’s just gotten better throughout the season. And, obviously, having Kailen back there helps us a lot. She’s been great. Both when she’s making saves but also when she’s organizing, communicating to the back line, and making sure we’re tracking runners or playing the right pass when we’re building out. Just having her voice back there has been huge and she’s made some pretty incredible stops for us when it really counts, so she’s been awesome.”
Wave FC Forward Katie Johnson:
On mentality going into this weekend’s match: “I think we’re going to bring that same mentality (as last Saturday) into this weekend’s game. We’re excited to be back home, and we look to get another three points.”
On what to expect from her this weekend after her success against Chicago Red Stars: “I think you can expect that same mentality of just going in and trying to make a difference and giving everything I have when I’m on the field. I think that’s consistent for the whole group as well, so just a really positive mentality and trying to make a difference on the field.”