Three-tIme NWSL champion becomes the first player to join San Diego Wave FC ahead of inaugural 2022 season
SAN DIEGO (November 22, 2021) – San Diego Wave Fútbol Club announced today that the club has acquired the rights to 28-year-old defender Abby Dahlkemper following the conclusion of the 2021 NWSL season from Houston Dash via a three-way trade that included North Carolina Courage. The U.S. international and World Cup winner is the first player announced to join Wave FC ahead of the club’s inaugural season in 2022.
“Abby is one of the best centerbacks in the world and a proven winner at the club and international level,” said Wave FC President Jill Ellis. “Having coached her with the USA, I know first-hand about the qualities she can bring to a team and a group. We look forward to welcoming her to San Diego and our club.”
Dahlkemper is one of the most decorated defenders in NWSL. She has played in the league since 2015, winning three NWSL Championships and being named to the Best XI three times. She earned NWSL Defender of the Year honors in 2017.
Upon execution of the trade North Carolina Courage will receive $190,000 in allocation money and San Diego’s natural 1st round draft selection in the 2023 NWSL Draft.
“I’ve followed Abby’s career for a long time and always admired her qualities as a centerback,” said Wave FC head coach Casey Stoney. “She’s had a stellar career with the United States and in NWSL, and I coached against her last year when she was playing in England. She’s a top player who I feel has a lot to offer any team on the field and in the locker room. Those qualities will be of great value to our club as we build a team to be competitive in this league. I look forward to working with her on a daily basis.”
Since making her international debut in 2016, Dahlkemper has been a constant presence on the backline for the U.S. Women’s National Team and played the most minutes of any U.S. player during the Americans’ victorious 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in France. Dahlkemper is a native of Menlo Park, Calif. and played college soccer at UCLA, where she won a NCAA national championship in 2013.
Name: Abby Dahlkemper
Date of Birth: May 13, 1993
Birthplace: Menlo Park, CA
International Caps: 77 – as of Nov. 15, 2021
Last Club: Houston Dash (NWSL)
Awards: FIFA Women’s World Cup Winner: 2019; NWSL Defender of the Year: 2017; NWSL Best XI: 2017, 2018, 2019; NWSL Champion: 2016, 2018, 2019; NWSL Shield Winner: 2017, 2018, 2019; NCAA National Champion: 2013
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About San Diego NWSL
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced in June 2021 that San Diego will be home to an NWSL expansion team, set to begin play in Spring 2022. Jill Ellis, the only two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winning manager and a former FIFA World Women’s Coach of the Year recipient, serves as President of the San Diego NWSL team while England standout and former Manchester United Women’s Manager Casey Stoney will serve as the team’s head coach. Chief Revenue Officer, Vanessa Shay, will run revenue streams, marketing and business operations. The San Diego NWSL is owned by investor Ron Burkle. Burkle has tapped longtime friend and business associate Matt Alvarez to lead the project on his behalf.