It’s the West Coast rivalry we’ve been waiting for.
Fans are just months away from seeing some of the biggest NWSL stars back on the pitch. Including USWNT’s Christen Press and Alex Morgan face off on the west coast.
But who will get the assist? Or better yet, who will they assist?
It’s no secret the NWSL has been gaining a lot of attention lately for all of their success and, most notably, their quick reactions to the groundbreaking news of allegations of assault after several brave current and former players have spoken out.
The league is growing and two new clubs from the west coast are joining this historic movement in 2022, welcoming Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave.
While Angel City’s street team has been hitting the streets, including a cross-country trip to the 2021 NWSL Final, to promote the new club, San Diego hit the ground running earlier this week with branding announcements and player signings.
First, on Monday the club announced they had acquired USWNT star striker Alex Morgan from Orlando Pride in exchange for midfielder Angharad James and $275,000 in allocation money. Although, the trade was made official until the trade window opened late Thursday night.
*image courtesy of the San Diego Wave
San Diego then unveiled its new crest and color palette two days later with fans and reporters in attendance.
Both organizations participated in the 2022 Expansion Draft that was held remotely on Thursday, December 16.
Both clubs had been hard at work for several weeks, signing players and building their technical staff prior to draft day. A few notable names include Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego) and head goalkeeper coach Daniel Ball (Angel City).
One of the highlights of the draft that puzzled fans is when the Wave passed on two of their five picks. However, the Wave immediately got to work following the draft with trades when the trade window opened.
Here are the selections for both teams before the trade window:
Angel City FC
- Dani Weatherholt (OL Reign)
- Claire Emslie (Orlando City)
- Jasmyne Spencer (Houston Dash)
- Paige Nielsen (Washington Spirit)
San Diego Wave
- Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash)
- Kristen McNabb (OL Reign)
- Kaleigh Riehl (Racing Louisville FC)
Similar to MLS expansion side, Charlotte FC that traded newly drafted players from their expansion draft – San Diego traded Kristie Mewis to Gotham FC for $200,000 in allocation money. The club also acquired Christen Westphal and rights to Amirah Ali from the Portland Thorns.
Angel City made no additional player movement.
Both teams will participate in the 2022 NWSL draft on Saturday, December 18 at 2 p.m. ET, and the event will air on Paramount+ and CBS Sports HQ.
Angel City FC and San Diego Wave are set to start play in 2022.