A national champion at Stanford University who hails from San Diego County and plays in a position of need for San Diego Wave FC? Sounds like a match made in heaven.
Wave FC traded into the top of the 2nd Round of Thursday’s 2023 NWSL Draft to select Sierra Enge at No. 13 overall. The versatile midfielder was credited as being the “engine” of the vaunted Cardinal lineup the past few years, and playing alongside current Wave FC players Naomi Girma and Belle Briede seemed to indicate Wave FC had been watching the Cardiff native closely.
San Diego head coach Casey Stoney confirmed the team traded up specifically to get Enge, who has already trained with the club.
“We traded up, we wanted to get as high as we possibly could in the second round, because we knew that Sierra would possibly go in that round and she was a key target for us,” Stoney said at the draft. “So, really pleased we traded up, the importance of getting Sierra to add squad depth, that quality character, and she’s already been in with us, and she’s familiar with our surroundings, and we’ve been able to bring her home, which is great.”
With their subsequent two picks on the evening, Wave FC selected a goalkeeper, UCLA’s Lauren Brzykcy, also fresh off a national title and a local-ish product, native to San Clemente, and an NCAA player from farther afield but a program that routinely produces pros, in Wake Forest midfielder Giovanna DeMarco, who originally hails from Pennsylvania.
Given San Diego could be missing roughly half their starting lineup for parts of the upcoming season due to the World Cup set to take place in Australia and New Zealand this summer, Stoney admitted building squad depth — on a team that had several stars in 2022 — becomes paramount.
“I think depth in any year on your roster is really important but with this league and the fact that we play through FIFA windows and it’s a World Cup year, the depth becomes even more important. So to bring in players like Sierra, like Lauren, like Giovanna, young talented players with loads of potential, really coachable and loads of growth there will just really add to our depth and we’ll have a greater squad in those FIFA windows,” she said.
It does not appear any of the three players have yet been signed to a contract, although it seems likely Enge will earn a deal in short order considering the trade San Diego made to ensure they would select her. All three players will likely get their shot at a pro deal when training camp opens for Wave FC in a couple weeks.
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