The San Diego Wave is one of the NWSL’s newest teams, joining the league as an expansion side this year. The Wave made their debut on March 19 as part of the NWSL 2022 Challenge Cup, with a roster put together from the expansion draft, NWSL Draft, as well as offseason signing. The team includes former Pride players Jodie Taylor, Taylor Kornieck, Emily van Egmond, along with USWNT veteran Alex Morgan.
Outside of the familiar faces, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan has proven to be a key acquisition for the Wave, as the Canadian goalkeeper is in conversations for this year’s Goalkeeper of the Year with a league-leading .83 goals against average.
The Wave are sitting at the top of the table, just three points behind the league-leading Portland Thorns with 25 points so far this season. They are one of only three teams in the NWSL to have at least seven wins this season. San Diego were defeated in their most recent match against the Kansas City Current in a 2-1 decision at home. Wave’s Amirah Ali scored her first career NWSL goal in the 88th minute, which was just a little too late as the Wave suffered their first home loss of the season.
Former Pride player Alex Morgan is tied for the NWSL Golden Boot award winner with 11 goals so far this season. Morgan is one of 20 players in NWSL history to record double-digit goals in a single campaign and just the fifth to do so since 2019. She is also one of two players to have at least three multi-goal matches this season. Morgan has yet to find the back of the net since returning from international break with her last goal coming on June 19, but is certainly a threat the Pride need to keep their eye on.
Saturday will serve as the inaugural meeting between the Pride and the Wave. Through two matches with the other 2022 expansion side, Angel City FC, this year, the Pride took a 1-0 victory as well as a 2-2 draw to go unbeaten in the season series.
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The Wave only have two matches left at Torero Stadium before they host their home opener at the new state-of-the-art Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday, September 17 against west coast rival Angel City FC. The Wave are looking to break the NWSL attendance record in the 32,000-seat stadium in that match against Angel City.