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Naomi Girma signs with San Diego Wave through 2026

Naomi Girma is staying with the San Diego Wave after signing a new contract that runs through the 2026 season. (Scott Sewell/USA TODAY Sports)

Naomi Girma is staying in San Diego.

The U.S. women’s national team defender signed a new three-year contract with the San Diego Wave, the team announced on her 23rd birthday. The Wave also exercised the fourth-year option on her contract, which will keep her in San Diego through the 2026 season.

“Naomi has been an integral piece of the Wave’s success on and off the field since she joined the club,” Wave general manager Molly Downtain said in a news release. “She has proven that she is one of the top players in this league, and we are thrilled to have her continue to lead our club.

“Securing her long-term future was a priority for the club, and we are pleased that we were able to reach this agreement as we know Naomi will play a crucial role in the Wave for years to come.”

As the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft, Girma was the first draft pick in the history of the Wave franchise. And her rookie season delivered on her promise. She started in 27 games, registering 176 recoveries and leading all defenders in possession.

As a result, she took home NWSL Rookie and Defender of the Year honors in 2022. She became the first rookie in league history to win two end-of-year awards.

She also has become a staple on the USWNT, making 15 caps since her senior team debut in April 2022. She is less than a month away from what likely will be her first World Cup.

“Naomi is one of the best young defenders in the world, and we’re elated that she’ll continue her career with the Wave,” Wave head coach Casey Stoney said in a news release. “She has been a key contributor to this club and the success the Wave has had, and I look forward to continuing to watch her grow here in San Diego.”

Girma called the beginning of her professional career with San Diego “so rewarding.”

“Since being drafted, everyone at the Wave has made San Diego feel like home,” she said in a news release. “My goal has always been to win championships for this city and raise the trophies with my team. I can’t wait to play in front of the Sirens and fans for years to come.”