Wave ForeCast: Chanclásico vs. Angel City FC
September 17, 2022, will be a day long remembered by San Diego soccer fans for its historic significance for the first year of San Diego Wave Futbol Club, which is set to raise the bar for National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) attendance as a record-breaking and sell-out crowd of 32,000 fans will be in attendance at the newly debuting Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego for the second leg of what is being dubbed the Chanclásico or the Flip Flop Classic between San Diego and their expansion team partners…and for that matter their rivals in Angel City FC at 7pm on Paramount+.
RACE TO THE SHIELD (Playoff Picture): It is a mess atop the NWSL table as the stretch run kicks in for playoff runs and the NWSL Shield. San Diego checks in with 31 Points and is in a tie for second place with the Portland Thorns. San Diego and Portland trail the first-place Kansas City Current by one point while Angel City FC enters in seventh place with 26 Points.
THE DROP-IN (Last match): San Diego was on the wrong side of a wild 4-3 decision to the Washington Spirit at Audi Field on September 10th. Jayden Shaw gave the Wave the early lead just seven minutes into the match before the Spirit rattled off three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room at halftime. Alex Morgan brought San Diego all the way out of the two-goal hole with her 14th and 15th goals on the season to level the scoreline at 3-3. However, with ten additional minutes of stoppage time, Ashley Hatch would tally the game-winning goal deep in stoppage time for the 4-3 victory for Washington.
IMPACT ZONE (All-Time Series): The neighbors to the North hold the all-time regular season series in the Chanclásico over their Southland acquaintances 1-0-0, 3 Pts. Angel City and San Diego met for the first time ever in the regular season back in early July at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles where ACFC escaped with a 2-1 victory.
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: ANGEL CITY FC: Announced as the 11th team to join the NWSL, Angel City FC based in Los Angeles makes the 120-mile journey down to San Diego to face off with the 12th team to join the NWSL in San Diego Wave FC. Angel City enters with a 7-6-5 record with 26 points. Savannah McCaskill leads ACFC’s offense with eight goals on the season. USWNT star and California native Christen Press is out for Angel City for the duration of the 2022 season after suffering a season-ending knee injury earlier in the season. Press played in eight matches and scored two goals before suffering the injury.
SHORE BREAK (Goalkeeping Match-Up): Kailen Sheridan will be expected to be in goal for San Diego on Saturday evening, while Angel City is expected to roll with DiDi Haracic.
“OH SNAP!”: San Diego Wave FC officially plays their first ever match in club history at the all-new Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday evening, a night that the club and their fanbase have been building towards since the start of the season, and their hard work paid off as San Diego will break the NWSL record for attendance with a sell-out crowd of 32,000 people expected to be in attendance.
The club used the week leading up to Saturday with community engagement events held which began on Tuesday where San Diego County supervisor Nora Vargas presented the club with a proclamation declaring September 17th San Diego Wave FC Day in the County of San Diego at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Wednesday saw supporters march one mile through Downtown to Waterfront Park where the club was presented with another proclamation, this time from the City of San Diego which included speaking engagements from team president Jill Ellis and elected city officials.
The eve of the Snapdragon opener saw fans being able to come to the new digs and go on a Wave FC shopping spree as the stadium team shop opened its doors for a few hours to have the fans be among the first to shop at the new stadium.
OFFSHORE VIEWING (Where to watch): Saturday’s match will be at 7pm PDT from Snapdragon Stadium and aired on Paramount+. Fans attending the match are in for a slew of amazing things planned by the club for this historic match. Fans can hang out at the Boardwalk Feast beginning at 3:30pm and concluding at 6:30pm. NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird is also expected to be on hand for the match where she will be speaking to select media outlets at 5:15pm.
QUOTES (Quotes courtesy of Wave FC’s Communications Team):
Wave FC Head Coach Casey Stoney:
On the upcoming match: “It’s a massively exciting occasion for us as a club. It’s a momentus sell-out record. My job as a head coach is to make sure I focus on the game and that there are very few distractions for what we want to achieve, how we want to play, what our game plan is, and giving the players the belief and the detail to be able to execute.”
On Alex Morgan’s form: “She’s a world-class player. Obviously, she took a bit of time out when she had her daughter. I think she’s come back with a renewed purpose. She’s been incredible for us this season, her goals have been so influential and vital for us. She’s led both on the field and off the field. She’s been brilliant for us. I can’t speak highly enough of her as a player and as a person. She’s led the way in her goals but her leadership too. We are very lucky she’s on our roster. She’s happy. She’s settled. Her family is here, and she has a lot of support around her. And she had a point to prove in terms of the national team. I hope she continues to prove that point. I hope she continues to score goals, and I have an unwavering belief in her ability to do what she can do. She’s been fantastic for us this season.”
On bouncing back from a loss in Washington D.C.: “We know we need to be better. It’s about momentum. We know we started the game in Washington unbelievably well. When we were scared, I think we settled too much. We needed to address that. I have an unwavering belief in my team and what they can do. We will set them up with the best possibility to win the game on Saturday. We want to play exciting football, I think we have done that throughout the season, but we need to make sure we defend better in certain moments. That is definitely something we have focused on this week.”
On the table standings: “I think LA has a good side. Being an expansion team too, they’ve done incredibly well this year and they have a good coach. They’ve changed a few things and tweaked a few things in terms of playing with two up sometimes. We are very aware of what they are doing. We will try to exploit certain spaces, and I’m sure they’ll try to do the same to us. We need to nullify their threats, we know they have threats. Obviously, they’re coming off a three-game week as well, but that gives them momentum I believe going into the game. They are a very dangerous team to play against, and they will want to react off of their defeat yesterday. We need to start the game in a certain manner. We have an incredible roster that can play and come off the bench and change the game for us. We are sitting in this position for a reason because I have very good players. It’s an exciting game for us, we are looking forward to it and we aren’t going to give too much other than that away.”
On coaching this team during a historic time for Wave FC: “I am really proud of this club and how far we have come in a short space of time. The fact that we can sell out. I am so proud of this community getting behind the team. My job as a coach is to focus this team on the game. What do we need to execute when we have the ball, what do we need to execute when we don’t. We know we are going to have 32,000 and most of them are going behind us. It should give us an edge and give them something to cheer about. We also know that comes with an element of pressure too, it’s my job to take that off the players and focus on the game and our game plan.”
On adjusting to the new atmosphere: “I am about consistency and process. We won’t change too much. Obviously, it’s a bigger stadium, but it just means more people behind us which is amazing. Our fans are incredible anyway, so we are looking forward to it. I won’t change much about that. It’s about preparing for every game to try and get maximum points. We need a reaction off the back of our defeat. We need a better performance, and I feel confident we will get that.”
On the crowd size: “It gives us a massive opportunity to excite people to get behind us even more. We’ve got a big crowd coming in. We are super excited about it. It’s a great occasion for the club, but it’s about the game. There’s still two goals, still 11v11, still one ball. That is my focus.”
Wave FC Midfielder, Emily van Egmond:
On the upcoming match: “We are obviously super excited to finally be playing at Snapdragon in front of a sold-out crowd and we can’t wait for Saturday to roll around, really.”
On the last match against LA: “Last time we played against LA, it was a close game. We took a few learnings from that match. The most exciting thing about this week is we are going to have a full squad. We definitely owe them one, and we are looking to go out on Saturday and claim three points.”
On keeping focus for the game in the new environment: “First and foremost, the fact that we’re going to have a sold-out crowd is only going to be beneficial for us because we are the home team. We definitely feel every single one of those San Diego supporters every single time they come out to support us. That will be huge for us. Secondly, in regards to the team aspect, we’ve been working hard and have come off the back of a loss in D.C that we are all disappointed about. The good thing about football is we get another chance this week to go out and rectify those things. All the girls have their heads down working hard because this is a must win game for us.”
Wave FC defender Naomi Girma:
On the upcoming match: “We are all really excited. It’s always fun playing against LA, our rivals. It’s going to be exciting for our club and the fans to finally get in our real stadium and have the real fan and play experience.”
On the crowd: “It’s really exciting for our league and club to see how much the support is growing. To set an NWSL record in our first year is incredible and just shows the fans we have in San Diego and how dedicated they are in how much they support us. It’s really exciting for the club and league.” [Emily van Egmond added: it shows how far women’s football has come.]
On her adjustment to the professional game: “It’s been the staff and players here who have a lot of experience. I think especially coming in as a rookie, I’ve had a lot of guidance from Casey and players like Em[ily van Egmond], who took the rookies under their wing and taught us how to be a professional and what it takes to be successful in this league.”
On lessons helping your growth as a rookie: “Coming into the league you learn that every game is a battle. You can’t take any team or any weekend lightly. I think we have learned that as a team in some losses that we’ve had this year. making sure to turn up 100 no matter the game or opponent.”
On changes this week in training: “We’ve kept the same intensity. We know it’s a big game but at the end of the day it’s another league game. we are excited to play in front of the crowd but we need to go out and do what we’ve been doing the whole season long and get the job done”.
Leave a Reply