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San Diego Wave FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Sofia Jakobsson

Winger always put in a shift for expansion side.

NWSL: Chicago Red Stars at San Diego Wave FC Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Sofia Jakobsson was one of the big international signings for San Diego Wave FC’s inaugural season in 2022. The Swedish international had substantial experience playing in Europe, for the likes of Chelsea, Montpellier and Real Madrid, among others, but an ill-fated run with Bayern Munich hadn’t turned out like the winger expected, and she jumped at the chance for more playing time and a first venture into the NWSL.

It’s clear that Jakobsson’s game is different than most American players, in that she’s a traditional winger, staying wide, dribbling upfield, and hitting crosses to serve the strikers. And while the attacking production took time to arrive, Jakobsson was a key player whenever she was available for selection by Wave FC.

Here are Jakobsson’s statistics with San Diego in 2022:

Sofia Jakobsson San Diego Wave FC 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Challenge Cup 6 4 327 0 0 2 1 1 0
Regular Season 17 12 1,027 1 3 7 3 0 0
Playoffs 2 1 156 0 1 7 1 0 0
Total 25 17 1,510 1 4 16 5 1 0

Jakobsson started out impressing with her crossing but mostly her defensive ability. She frequently led San Diego in tackles in a game, and her ability to track back and do the dirty work to help spring a quick transition for her side was valuable again and again. Meanwhile, Jakobsson’s crosses look really good. She can loop them in, hit them along the ground, really mix it up — but there was a disconnect between that service and actually hitting teammates, and so the crosses may have looked good, but they took awhile to find teammates to score with.

Jakobsson’s first and only goal of the season came in August in a home win over the Dash, and you can see her palpable relief in getting it in the net.

But her best game was unquestionably the playoff clash against the Chicago Red Stars. Coming off the bench for the second half, Jakobsson absolutely bossed her flank and wore out the Red Stars defender, while setting up both the equalizer and the winning goal.

Casey Stoney admitted after the game that a dominant offensive game like that from Jakobsson was a long time coming, but when the team needed a patented gamechanger, Jakobsson literally transformed the match for her side.

Overall on the season, Jakobsson certainly worked hard and pitched in when she was playing, but’s scouting report graph shows that her contributions were muted, aside from her tackling prowess.

It will be interesting to see if Jakobsson can take a step forward in year two with Wave FC, as she remains under contract for the 2023 season. Sweden will be going to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, and it seems pretty likely she’ll be on the plane, with much of her efforts for the year centered around the World Cup, understandably. I do think her ability to step up in the playoffs and production starting to come in the back half of the year is a good omen for stepping up her goals and assists numbers next year. Alex Morgan’s outstanding campaign is probably not realistically replicable at the monster numbers she posted, so it will be up to the rest of the squad to help pitch in on goals more.

As much as I would like to see Jakobsson score more, I actually think if she hits a rhythm, she could make a run for the assist crown in the league next year. She had three in the regular season, which doesn’t sound like a ton, but the co-leaders in the league only amassed six. Can she get 6-8? Why not, that seems like a reasonable target, even if the NWSL isn’t an assist-heavy league.

So, I appreciated Jakobsson’s hard work all season long, her tenacious defense even when the attacking production wasn’t coming, but hopefully a year of adjustment will lead to more in 2023. If that happens, then that should bode well for San Diego’s prospects.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.