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Jaedyn Shaw signs new Wave deal with USWNT goals in mind

Jaedyn Shaw debuted for the San Diego Wave as a 17-year-old last season. (Steven Bisig/USA TODAY Sports)

The San Diego Wave have signed 18-year-old forward Jaedyn Shaw to a new multi-year contract through the 2026 season. Similar to new deals for goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and defender Naomi Girma, San Diego offered Shaw the NWSL’s maximum three-year extension, with an additional option year that has already been mutually exercised.

“At just 18, Jaedyn has proven to be one of the best in the league, and we’re excited to help her develop both on and off the field,” Wave head coach Casey Stoney said in a team release. “Her vision and ability on the ball is some of the best I’ve seen in the game and she’s yet to even hit her ceiling.

“This contract is well-deserved for Jaedyn and absolutely thrilled to have her here in San Diego.”

For Shaw, the extension reflects just how much San Diego has become home. The teenager joined the Wave in the middle of the 2022 season, after waiting for a now-defunct discovery process tailored toward players under the age of 18. Upon her arrival as a 17-year-old, she immediately began contributing, scoring just 28 minutes into her professional debut.

“Being in the city and the environment, I feel like I just have fun and it’s something that I can enjoy whether or not I’m playing well necessarily,” Shaw tells Just Women’s Sports.

This season, Shaw has taken on an even greater role, slotting in on the wings and as an underlying playmaker depending on the opposition. In 15 games played, she has scored four goals (trailing only Alex Morgan) and registered one assist for San Diego.

Joining the Wave last year presented more than a few unknowns for the teenager, not least of which was her move to California.

“Coming from Texas, you’re not the biggest fan of California in general,” she says with a laugh. “So I kind of had a little bit of stereotypical things in my mind when I moved here. But when I got here I was like, ‘Oh my god, the people are so nice. The city is amazing.’’

Shaw is a big fan of the beach (though not of sand, she admits). She also has the benefit of her family making a home for itself in the city and providing a support system that allows her to focus on developing as a soccer player.

That foundation is the base upon which Shaw has continued to push herself, and it’s no surprise that a player willing to make the jump to the professional level at 17 is open about her desire to play soccer on the biggest stages.

“I feel like for me, a lot of it is just getting on the national team,” she says. “I feel like I have had that goal in the back of my mind for a while now, and seeing them giving chances to younger players, I feel like I’m just right there. And I just need to continue to play how I know how, and I’ll get my chance soon enough.”

Shaw has already found success at the USWNT youth levels, earning U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year honors in 2022. To compete for a spot on the senior team in the foreseeable future, Shaw knows she needs to embrace high standards while not losing the aspects of her game that make her so special. She has honed that balanced approach within the Wave’s competitive environment.

“I grew up with coaches that were hard on me, and my mom is hard on me,” she says. “And that’s something that I think just helps me grow. Not necessarily that Casey is hard on me, but I just think that her standards set the bar, and allow me to come into training and, yes, make mistakes, but also be in an environment where I can grow and learn and be my best self every day.”

Shaw is a competitor, who jokes she’d be out on the field practicing two or three times a day if the training staff would allow her. She has both a desire to learn from those around her and a clear, confident sense of self, as she aspires to become part of the legacy of the USWNT’s creative attackers.

“I want to be the only Jaedyn Shaw, of course. I don’t want to emulate anyone play by play,” she says. “I just am really blessed to be able to play with players like Kailen and [Sofia Jakobsson] and Alex [Morgan] … They’re someone that I, yes, learn things from, but I also compete with them daily, and it’s something that I truly enjoy.”

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Shaw celebrates a goal against the Orlando Pride at Snapdragon Stadium. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

With top international players away at the Word Cup, Shaw has felt herself step into more of a vocal leadership role, setting the stage for her next steps as a professional. She’s also been catching World Cup matches on TV when she can.

The Wave have hit a bit of a rough patch with those players away, dropping three straight Challenge Cup matches and sitting sixth in the regular season standings.

But with adversity comes growth, Shaw says.

“Just kind of throwing age out the window and stepping up to whatever role I am put into, or I put myself into,” she says. “I feel like when things aren’t going your way, you need somebody to step up to be a leader, whether it’s vocally or just making things happen on the field.”

She’ll be making things happen in San Diego for years to come. For now, the goal is to bring an NWSL championship to the city at home — “Of course, I want to be NWSL champion like, hello!” she says — with Snapdragon Stadium the host of this year’s championship game.

“With Snapdragon, there’s always a big crowd. And if it’s a smaller crowd, they are loud,” she says. “So I feel like this championship is going to be absolutely insane.”

Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @ScoutRipley.

The Women’s Cup Finalizes 2024 Tournament With Chile’s Colo Colo

Patricia Padium (L) of Brazils Audax/Corinthians, vies for the ball with Claudia Soto of Chile's Colo Colo during the Women Copa Libertadores final match
The addition of the Chilean side rounds out the Cup's four-team field. (FAVIO FALCON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Women’s Cup field has been finalized, with Chilean club Colo Colo joining the four-team field. 

Colo Colo will join Racing Louisville of the NWSL along with Italy's Juventus and Brazil's Palmeiras at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville from August 9th through 13th. 

The tournament will have a $100,000 prize pool.

"We are honored to have Colo-Colo as the first Chilean Team to play in The Women’s Cup," said J.P. Reynal, CEO of The Women’s Cup, in yesterday's press release. "Women’s soccer has seen exponential growth in South America and having two of the best teams in the region participating in this year’s tournament is proof they can compete with the top teams from Europe and the United States."

"We are pleased to be considered in this important championship for women’s soccer and very proud that Colo-Colo is one of the most important exponents of this discipline in Chile," echoed Enzo Caszely, president of women’s football at Colo-Colo. "As a club, we have been pioneers in its professionalization at a national level, and this instance is proof of it."

Juventus and Colo-Colo will square off on Friday, August 9th at 5 PM ET followed by Racing Louisville and Palmeiras at 8 PM ET. Tickets can be purchased now via both The Women's Cup's and Racing Lousiville's websites.

This is Racing Louisville's third time featuring in the competition. The team won The Women's Cup's first iteration in 2021, beating German side FC Bayern in penalty kicks at Lynn Family Stadium. The Seattle Reign claimed The Women's Cup in 2022.

The Kansas City Current will also host a Women’s Cup tournament from August 14th through the 17th. The winners of each 2024 tournament will then face each other in the Global Series Finals, scheduled for February 2025.

PWHL Draft Spurs Controversy for League Champs Minnesota

pwhl draft first pick Sarah Fillier
PWHL New York kicked off the 2024 PWHL Draft by selecting Princeton's Sarah Fillier No. 1 overall. (PWHL)

The 2024 PWHL Draft took place on Tuesday, with Princeton and Canadian national team forward Sarah Fillier going first overall to PWHL New York. 

New York also added two defenders and a goaltender, as well as three forwards to make seven solid additions to next season's roster. 

But it was first-ever PWHL champions Minnesota that created the most buzz, with the draft happening just three days after they announced the abrupt departure of general manager Natalie Darwitz following a league review. 

With the 10th overall pick, PWHL Minnesota took Team USA forward Britta Curl. Fans immediately took to the internet to voice their concerns, citing Curl's social media activity. In the past, Curl had "liked" posts on X that targeted the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly transgender individuals. Her activity also showed support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Wisconsin man who fatally shot three unarmed people, two fatally, during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest.

When asked about the pick — and whether or not he had consulted with any members of the LGBTQIA+ community prior to making the pick — PWHL Minnesota coach Ken Klee opted to defend Curl.

"Did I speak to anyone from the community? I talk with players, with coaches. That’s tough to answer for me," Klee said. "I spoke with a lot of different people. I mean, at the end of the day, I was told she’s a great teammate, a great person. She’s obviously a great player."

The team also had PWHL Minnesota assistant coach Mira Jalosuo, who is married to a woman, announce the pick.

"We have people in that community and obviously Mira making that selection for us, I think that speaks volumes for us," Klee added. "We were just trying to pick the best players available. I wouldn’t want anything to take away from any of those players' experience. It’s unfortunate a little bit at the beginning, but again, it’s okay. People are entitled to their opinion."

Washington Mystics Snap 12-Game Losing Streak

Brittney Sykes #20 of the Washington Mystics shoots the ball during the game against the Atlanta Dream during the 2024 WNBA Commissioner's Cup game on June 11, 2024
Washington guard Brittney Sykes returned from injury Tuesday night to post a game-high 18 points. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Washington Mystics snapped a team-record 12-game losing streak on Tuesday, taking home their first win of the season over the Atlanta Dream. 

Brittney Sykes returned from injury and made an immediate impact with game-high 18 points, four assists, and three rebounds. As a team, Washington shot over 50% from behind the arc.

"The feel is it's been coming," coach Eric Thibault said after the game. "I said the other night that we're turning into a good basketball team and we just haven't had the wins to show for it yet. We've been playing better basketball now for a while.

"We're obviously shooting well, but I think the quality of the shots we're getting is really good."

Still, the team’s slow start isn't exactly in the rearview mirror. With star forward Elena Delle Donne sitting this season out, the Mystics were always predicted to face an uphill climb in what has been described as a rebuilding year. 

But with a franchise-worst 0-12 record to kick off the 2024 season, the Mystics are likely on track for a lottery pick. However, Washington can point to positive performances from star draft pick Aaliyah Edwards and league newcomer Julie Vanloo.

Elsewhere in the WNBA, the Las Vegas Aces continued their skid with a surprising 100-86 upset courtesy of the Minnesota Lynx. The reigning WNBA champions were shorthanded this week, falling to 5-5 on the season despite MVP-level play from A'ja Wilson, who scored 28 points in Tuesday's loss.

Minnesota shot over 55% as a team, with Alanna Smith leading the team with 18 points. The game marked the Aces' first three-game losing streak since 2019.

"This is a long, long, long season," Wilson said in her postgame remarks. "I'm not going to press the panic button. I'm still going to bet on us. I know exactly what's in that locker room."

Aces stalwart Chelsea Gray has been out with injury since last year's WNBA Finals run. And while she told reporters on Tuesday that she's set to return before the Olympic break, the team can’t get her back soon enough as they continue to struggle with depth. 

"I don't want them thinking too much; then you get paralysis [by] analysis," coach Becky Hammon said. "We're just not being solid in our base. Just be solid defensively. We're not a very good team right now, that's just reality. But we know we can get better. I still have a lot of belief in this ball club."

USA Women’s Basketball Releases Olympic Roster, Explains Clark’s Omission

USA Women's Basketball's Diana Taurasi #12, Brittney Griner #15 and Sabrina Ionescu #6 at April's National Team Training Camp
All the players tapped for this year's Olympic roster have senior national team experience. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

USA Women's Basketball announced its official Olympic roster on Tuesday, with officials noting that Caitlin Clark’s lack of national team experience played a key role in her omission.

Selection committee chair Jen Rizzotti said that the committee evaluated players according to a set of on-court criteria they were given.

"When you base your decision on criteria, there were other players that were harder to cut because they checked a lot more boxes," she told reporters on Tuesday. "Then sometimes it comes down to position, style of play for [coach Cheryl Reeve] and then sometimes a vote."

Three first-time Olympians made the squad: Alyssa Thomas, Sabrina Ionescu, and Kahleah Copper. Additionally, Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum will make the switch to the national 5-on-5 team after winning gold in the inaugural 3×3 competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Age, Rizzotti said, was "never brought up" in player selection discussions. It’s the first time in Olympic history that a USA Women’s Basketball 5-on-5 team will travel to the Games without a single player under 26 years old.

Rizzotti commented that all the players tapped for this year's Olympic roster have senior national team experience, something that Clark does not have.

"She's certainly going to continue to get better and better," USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley added. "Really hope that she's a big part of our future going forward."

Rizzotti said it would have been "irresponsible" to base roster decisions on anything outside of a basketball context. Marketing and popularity were not on the selection committee’s list of criteria. 

"It would be irresponsible for us to talk about her in a way other than how she would impact the play of the team," Rizzotti said. "Because it wasn't the purview of our committee to decide how many people would watch or how many people would root for the US. It was our purview to create the best team we could for Cheryl."

Clark expressed that she'll be using what some consider a snub as fuel for a run at the 2028 Olympic team. 

"I think it just gives you something to work for," Clark told media after practice Sunday. "It's a dream. Hopefully one day I can be there. I think it's just a little more motivation. You remember that. Hopefully when four years comes back around, I can be there."

Watch more: "Were Caitlin Clark and Arike Ogunbowale snubbed?" on Expert Adjacent

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