San Diego Wave FC has signed manager Casey Stoney to an extension the club announced on Tuesday. The former England women’s team international defender will stay on as head coach in the NWSL despite rumors around interest in the WSL to lead Chelsea FC as Emma Hayes is set to join the U.S. women’s national team this spring. Stoney was initially brought into the franchise ahead of the Wave’s inaugural season in 2022.
Stoney’s new deal will keep her with San Diego through the 2027 season, with a mutual option for the 2028 season.
“In two years with the Wave, Casey has established herself as not just one of the top coaches in the league but also on the global stage” said San Diego Wave FC President Jill Ellis.
“When we brought Casey on board, we were confident that her exceptional leadership qualities, coupled with her extensive experience as both a player and coach at the highest levels, would make her the perfect fit for San Diego, and she has more than exceeded our high expectations. Her commitment and passion for winning, developing our young players, and her loyalty to this club and city speaks volume to who she is as a coach and as a person.”
As a player with England’s national team, she made 130 appearances and featured in three FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 2012 London Olympics. A two-time FA International Player of the Year, she played for Arsenal, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Lincoln, Arsenal, and Liverpool and earned multiple championships during her career. Her multiple titles include four Women’s FA Cup titles, four FA Women’s Premier League Cup titles, and three FA Women’s Community Shield’s.
After playing professionally, she earned her UEFA A and Pro License and was later named the first-ever head coach of Manchester United Women in 2018. She led them to 52 wins in 77 competitive matches and secured promotion with the 2018-19 Football Association Women’s Championship title.
“I am very happy to extend my stay here in San Diego, a place my family and I call home,” said Stoney in a club statement.
“What we have been able to achieve as a club over the first two seasons is a testament to the investment of our ownership and the hard work of everyone involved. As a club, we have achieved in ways no other expansion team has ever done. We have won the NWSL Shield, broken records and have been supported by the most amazing fans. This is just the beginning, and I am fully committed to building and developing this team. I am proud to be a part of this club, in this city, and I will continue to give everything I have to bring even more success to this incredible community.”
The 41-year-old manager has already made history with the franchise in her short time. During San Diego’s inaugural season, Stoney helped lead the club to the 2022 NWSL semifinals, a first-ever achievement for a California expansion franchise. Her efforts earned her 2022 NWSL coach of the year and the club went on to win the 2023 NWSL Shield in their return to another NWSL semifinal.