Marleen Schimmer became the first player ever to be drafted out of Grand Canyon University when San Diego Wave FC selected her in Saturday’s 2022 NWSL Draft, and the German was understandably jubilant after her selection.
The forward was San Diego’s second selection, coming at No. 9 overall, and she did not hide her excitement.
“Honestly, this feeling is absolutely amazing,” Schimmer told reporters after her selection. “I’m still speechless. I’m still shaking. I’ve been nervous all day, the last couple of days and so excited too. I really can’t wait to start my journey, my professional career with San Diego Wave FC and this is just the best feeling honestly.”
Prior to coming to the United States, Schimmer played professionally for her hometown club, TSV Schott Mainz, in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring 16 goals in 35 appearances. She was also a German youth international, winning the U-17 Euros with them. Ultimately, she started her NCAA career at Arizona State before transferring to another Arizona college, Grand Canyon University.
It’s an unusual — thought not completely unheard of — path to the pros in the United States, and while Schimmer presumably has an uphill climb to make San Diego’s roster, potentially, as an international player, her pedigree and experience level also puts her ahead of most pro prospects.
For her part, Schimmer said she’s ready to take a step up to the next level in what she considers the best league.
“So for me right now it’s just enjoying the moment, just enjoying the first season at the NWSL, getting used to the intensity, to the quality. The NWSL is the best league in the world, for sure. And I’m just excited to learn more, learn from the experienced players,” she said.
And it appears the attacker has thought at length about the differences in the American and European games.
“I have to say like the two leagues are completely different, like the soccer in Europe and the soccer in the States are two worlds but I like it here,” Schimmer explained. “I like the intensity. It’s way more athletic. It’s faster, it’s quicker. You have to make decisions so quickly. In Europe you have time, it’s more tactical and technical. But here, I just love the intensity and I can’t wait to raise my game, develop as a player in the NWSL and start my professional career [in] San Diego.”
All told, San Diego selected five players in four rounds on Saturday, and Wave FC head coach Casey Stoney summed up the profile of players the club was looking for and reflected on a monumental day for all involved.
“All players need to be comfortable on the ball. All players need to be prepared to work hard and we’ve done due diligence on character in the people that we’re bringing on this journey. And it’s a massively exciting moment for these players, but it’s also a huge moment for us as a club,” Stoney said.
After celebrating her selection with her family in Germany, Schimmer will soon be back to work, aiming to be part of the inaugural San Diego Wave FC roster in 2022.
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