San Diego NWSL is slated to join the National Women's Soccer League in 2022 as the league's 12th franchise and the club has already appointed their new head coach in former Manchester United Women's manager Casey Stoney. The news comes after the recent announcement of their new General Manager Molly Downtain, and is the second hire for San Diego NWSL president Jill Ellis.
"Casey is one of the most decorated, distinguished and talented English players of all-time and has transitioned seamlessly in her role as a manager," said San Diego NWSL President Jill Ellis. "She immediately turned Manchester United Women Football Club into respected contenders and established herself as one of the top managers in the league. Casey has all of the qualities we want in our manager and she is fully committed to making San Diego NWSL a globally-successful club and brand led by powerful and talented women. We are thrilled to secure her as our manager and look forward to what she will bring to our club and city."
A former player, Stoney represented the England women's national team making 130 appearances, playing in three FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments from 2001 through 2017 and featured in the 2012 London Olympics. Domestically, she has represented Charlton Athletic, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Lincoln during her playing time in England. Her successful club run included four Women's FA Cup titles (2001, 2005, 2014, 2016), four FA Women's Premier League Cup titles (2000, 2001, 2004, 2006) and three FA Women's Community Shield victories (2000, 2001, 2004). In 2008 and 2012 she earned top honors earning the FA International Player of the Year Award.
She arrives to San Diego NWSL off a successful managerial stint with Manchester United Women's team. Stoney led the club to the 2018-19 Football Association Women's Championship title and secured promotion to the FA Women's Super League during her first season with the club. In the FA WSL, She recorded 22 wins in 36 league matches and led her team to back-to-back fourth-place finishes in their first two seasons in England's top-flight league.
"I am extremely excited and motivated to lead San Diego NWSL on the field next season and beyond," said San Diego NWSL Head Coach Casey Stoney. "Jill and this ownership group are deeply committed to building a world-class club both on and off the field and I look forward to being a part of creating our culture and style of play as a team. I am eager to begin work immediately ahead of our inaugural year of competition in NWSL next season."
Stoney's background and familiarity as a former player will no doubt be an assest in recruiting and building a competitive side for San Diego NWSL. During her time with Manchester United Stoney has coached elite internationals, including U.S. women's national team forwards Christen Press and Tobin Heath.