Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave will face off Saturday in the latest edition of their cross-California rivalry match.

San Diego holds a 1-0 edge this season and a 3-1-1 advantage overall after their 2-0 win over Angel City in April. Their most recent meeting in San Diego last September drew an NWSL record 32,000 fans to Snapdragon Stadium. The Wave (6-3-2) enter the game in first place in the NWSL standings, Angel City (2-6-3) in 11th place and with an interim head coach after the club parted ways with Freya Coombe on Thursday.

While this marks the final regular-season match between the teams in 2023, two Challenge Cup games await, in Los Angeles on June 28 and in San Diego on Aug. 5.

Angel City vs. San Diego: How to watch

The rivalry game will take place at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. local time) on Saturday, June 17. It will air on CBS and also stream online via CBS Sports.

Key players

Alyssa Thompson, Angel City FC

Thompson’s pro career has gotten off to a strong start. The 2023 No. 1 draft pick has created the second-most chances for Angel City, with 18 total shots so far this season. She’s also scored three goals, tied for the most on the team with Claire Emslie. Wherever she is on the field, San Diego should have eyes on Thompson, as letting the speedy 18-year-old go unchecked could lead to danger for the visiting team.

Didi Haračić, Angel City FC

In order for Angel City to have a shot against top-of-the-table San Diego, goalkeeper Haračić will need to be lights out against the likes of Jaedyn Shaw, Alex Morgan and Sofia Jakobsson. While she has allowed 21 goals this season, she has faced 59 shots on target and registered a 71.2% save percentage. Angel City, currently in 11th place on the NWSL table, could use an outstanding performance from Haračić. She has kept her team in games of late, with their three most recent losses ending in a one-goal difference.

Jaedyn Shaw, San Diego Wave

Shaw’s passing abilities and goal-scoring prowess make her a rising star for San Diego. Her three goals are the second-most on the team behind Alex Morgan, and she’s been a key fixture in creating chances for her team when she’s not the one scoring. Head coach Casey Stoney called the 18-year-old’s vision among the best she has seen. Shaw could be a sleeper pick for a USWNT World Cup spot this summer and a future national team mainstay.

Naomi Girma, San Diego Wave

The reigning NWSL Rookie and Defender of the Year, Naomi Girma comes into the game with a brand-new contract that will keep her in San Diego through 2026. The reasons for that contract are clear: Girma is one of the best players the Wave have in their arsenal of talent. (And that is not a knock on the Wave but a credit to Girma — after all, San Diego features Alex Morgan, Sofia Jakobsson and other stars on its roster.) The future of the USWNT defense, Girma is an elite passer (with an astounding 86.2% completion rate, good for third in the league) and a lockdown defender (with 5.0 clearances per 90, also third in the league).


Angel City FC

Control the transitional attack and maintain possession. Angel City has had good ball possession this season — they just haven’t managed to put together all of the pieces. Despite 36 shots on target, they’ve scored just 13 goals. They’ve also put up 149 total shots and, at some point, need them to find the back of the net. San Diego’s stats look fairly similar, with 16 goals on 44 shots on target. Can Angel City finally find an offensive breakthrough?

San Diego Wave

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan is tied for the league lead with five clean sheets. She’s had help from a strong defense, but those shutouts are also just the sign of a good goalie. Their offensive stars similarly have helped propel them to the top of the league, led by Alex Morgan’s five goals. But when they lose, they tend to lose big. Limiting Angel City’s attack will be key if San Diego wants to walk away with the win.

Read more

Even for the NWSL, Saturday night’s match between the Portland Thorns and Angel City featured an extraordinary number of chaotic twists and turns.

And none was bigger than the final play of the game. Trailing 3-2 in the seventh minute of five minutes of stoppage time, Portland Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby was sent to the opposing penalty box for a corner kick. Angel City keeper Didi Haracic managed to get her hands on the ball, but when it slipped through her fingers, Bixby made the most of the moment, scoring a backheel goal.

“I still can’t believe it, but it’s like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I gotta really absorb it,” Bixby said during her celebratory post-game lap at Portland’s Providence Park.

Bixby is the second goalkeeper to score in NWSL history, joining Michelle Betos, who also salvaged a draw in stoppage time while playing for the Thorns in 2015.

With the draw, Portland remains unbeaten in regular season competition (3-0-2) and in first place in the NWSL standings with 11 overall points.

Saturday’s NWSL match was a back-and-forth battle. Eighteen-year-old Alyssa Thompson got Angel City off to an early lead in the 10th minute, scoring her second goal of the 2023 NWSL season. But when new Angel City signee Julie Ertz fouled Crystal Dunn in the box, Thorns midfielder Hina Sugita converted the penalty to draw the Thorns even 1-1.

Morgan Weaver gave Portland a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute, taking advantage of a beautifully placed pass from Olivia Moultrie.

After two quick set-piece goals from Angel City — a Thorns own goal (74′) and Julie Ertz header (79′) — the visitors appeared en route to a 3-2 win.

And then came Bella Bixby’s big moment.

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions,” Thorns coach Mike Norris told The Oregonian. “Angel City came with the energy and we didn’t match that structurally. It was disappointing and we addressed that at halftime and were happy with the second half response.

“We felt we were in control and then two set pieces were costly and we’re chasing the game again. But credit to the group for fighting and keeping composure.”

Angel City FC continues to grow, acquiring the rights to the Portland Thorns’ Simone Charley and Tyler Lussi, NJ/NY Gotham FC’s Didi Haračić and the North Carolina Courage’s Cari Roccaro.

All three teams will receive full roster protection in the upcoming expansion draft.

In return for Charley and Lussi, the Thorns will also receive $100,000 in allocation money and ACFC’s natural second-round draft pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft next week. Charley had a breakout 2021 season with the Thorns, scoring five goals in 19 games for the NWSL semifinalists.

In addition to expansion draft protection, Gotham FC – who also recently traded goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to San Diego – will receive $50,000 in allocation money.