San Diego Wave FC fire head coach Casey Stoney in soccer stunner

The NWSL side is mired in 7-game winless streak.

In January, San Diego Wave FC gave head coach Casey Stoney a contract extension. On Monday, they fired her.

Stoney was the first manager in club history and one of the major architects of the roster that's been to the playoffs every year of its existence. In 2023, San Diego won the NWSL Shield that comes with the best record in the league in the regular season. But, that success has not translated to the postseason.

This year the club is in 9th place in the National Women's Soccer League, just outside the playoff picture, and currently mired in a 7-game winless streak where their offense has struggled to produce goals. Still, the timing of the move caught many in the soccer community off-guard.

“We are immensely grateful to Casey for her commitment to our club and the positive impact she has had both on and off the pitch.” said San Diego Wave FC President Jill Ellis in a statement. “Over the past seasons, Casey has guided us to significant milestones, and her contributions have been instrumental in laying a strong foundation on which to build. The decision to part ways was very hard and not made in haste, but given the ambition of this club, and where we are in our season, we felt a change was necessary at this time.”

Paul Buckle will take over on an interim basis while the club begins what it calls a "global search for a permanent head coach."

Buckle's last head coaching job was with Sacramento Republic in 2017. He runs a soccer consultancy and appears to have done work previously with Wave and was an adviser for the Loyal.

Buckle is married to Rebecca Lowe of NBC Sports.

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