San Diego Wave FC began preseason training camp 2023 in earnest on Monday, and released their initial 25-player roster to get things started.
Most of the names are familiar this time around, which isn’t surprising considering what a great season San Diego had in their inaugural campaign, reaching the semifinals in the playoffs before bowing out to the eventual champion. Casey Stoney is back as head coach and the roster features 18 players returning from the 2022 squad, including all of the regular starters from last season.
New to the group are the three free agent signings — midfielders Danielle Colaprico and Meggie Dougherty Howard and forward Rachel Hill. In addition, there are the three 2023 NWSL Draft picks — midfielders Sierra Enge and Giovanna DeMarco and goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, who all appear to be trialing to earn a professional contract at this point.
The last three participants are trialists. Melanie Barcenas is classified as a “U-18 trialist,” a new category in the NWSL this year. It appears to be connected to the new rules for minors signing professional contracts in the league, which were enacted this year, but U-18 players training with NWSL teams is not new, and it is not clear if Barcenas is getting a serious look at being signed to a professional deal anytime soon or if she is meant to train with the pros and get an initial look at the professional game. She plays her club soccer with San Diego Surf, so she is a local, and she was initially called up to the U-17 U.S. National Team for the 2022 Concacaf U-17 W Championship, but an injury ruled out the teenager for that competition.
The other trialists are adults. Maisie Whitsett is also a San Diego native, who just wrapped up her NCAA career at the University of Louisville. She played midfielder and forward in college and is listed as a midfielder in Wave FC’s release. She entered this year’s NWSL Draft but was not selected — but she may earn a pro deal yet! Stay tuned.
Last but not least, Trinity Watson is the other trialist in Wave FC camp. Watson is also an undrafted rookie, out of Pepperdine, but the defender already wrapped up a trial with Racing Louisville this preseason, so she’s getting out there and hoping she finds the right team. She’s also a local product, growing up in Ocean Beach and attending Point Loma High School before heading to Malibu for college.
Current San Diego Wave FC Roster by Position:
Goalkeepers (3): Kailen Sheridan (INT), Carly Telford (INT), Lauren Brzykcy (DRAFT)
Forwards (7): Amirah Ali, Makenzy Doniak, Sofia Jakobsson, Alex Morgan, Jaedyn Shaw, Rachel Hill, Melanie Barcenas (U18 Trialist)
Midfielders (9): Belle Briede, Taylor Kornieck, Kristen McNabb, Kelsey Turnbow, Emily Van Egmond (INT), Meggie Dougherty Howard, Danielle Colaprico, Sierra Enge (DRAFT), Giovanna DeMarco (DRAFT), Maisie Whitsett (NRI)
Defenders (6): Abby Dahlkemper, Mia Gyau, Naomi Girma, Madison Pogarch, Kaleigh Riehl, Christen Westphal, Trinity Watson (NRI)
The NWSL 2023 regular season schedule is set to be released on Wednesday, so we’ll find out when the games are happening then.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.