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Surfing San Diego High Hopes: Padres and Wave Expectations for 2024 Season

As the second largest city in California, San Diego is behind LA, trying to take the state throne in various fields of work.

Since the City of Angels has a several-lap lead in terms of show business and some other business fields, there are other niches in which America’s Finest City could get shoulder-to-shoulder with LA.

Sport is definitely one of them, which is why this article goes over the chances of the San Diego Padres in MLB and the San Diego Wave in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

The Padres have a tough year behind them. The end of the year was the most difficult part because in November everybody was struck by the death of their long-term owner Peter Seidler. As a true sports enthusiast and a genuine San Diego figure, Mr. Seidler left an indelible mark on this club and this city.

From the sports angle, both the team, the management, and the fans expected more from 2023. After a well-performed off-season, the Padres didn’t live up to expectations during the regular season. In the end, it turned into one of the least satisfying seasons in the club’s history, as the Padres didn’t qualify for the playoffs three seasons in a row. Their performances are so hard to predict that only some gambling sites have the right estimations of their results.

Most of the players are still here, though, and the club even signed the Japanese rock-star pitcher Yuki Matsui. The bad news is that the Padres had to trade Juan Soto and Trent Grisham to the New York Yankees in the so-called Padres-Yankees blockbuster trade. The Padres did sign catcher Kyle Higashioka and pitchers Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, and Michael King (all right-handed), but Soto is a true star and a valuable outfielder that’s hard to replace.

The new season will start with a new manager Mike Shildt at the helm, so we can only expect better days for the Padres.

The second most admired San Diego sports attraction – San Diego Wave Futbol Club – has made it to the NWSL’s semi-finals two years in a row. In the 2022 season, they lost to the Portland Thorns (the winners that year) and this season OL Reign was better in the semis.

In the forthcoming season, the club management has high hopes, even though the waters around the Snapdragon Stadium aren’t calm at all. The Wave’s leading forward Rachel Hill has moved to Bay FC, leaving the attack uncovered. Hence, the club decided to bring to the pitch one of the best midfielders in the NWSL Savannah McCaskill. She had a great season at Angel City FC, with 43 caps and 11 goals, which is a notable effort for a midfielder.

What’s more, Wave has selected two players in the 2024 NWSL draft, held on January 12, 2024: a promising defender Kennedy Wesley (12th pick), and My Jones (47th pick), equally skillful as an attacker and an offensive midfielder. 

Wesley comes from Stanford University, where she was the team captain and won the NCAA Championship in 2019. 

Jones played the last five seasons at the University of Memphis, having played in 93 college games all together, and scored 20 goals (with 13 assists) in the last two seasons.

Let’s hope that both the Padres and Wave FC will see a fruitful and successful 2024, with improved results in their respective leagues.

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