Casey Stone fired by San Diego Wave FC during club's 7-game winless streak

Stoney led the club to two trophies since being hired as its first-ever head coach

Casey Stoney was hired as the first San Diego Wave FC head coach in 2021, but her tenure ends on the heels of a seven-game winless streak. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images).
Casey Stoney was hired as the first San Diego Wave FC head coach in 2021, but her tenure ends on the heels of a seven-game winless streak. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Casey Stoney is out as head coach of the NWSL's San Diego Wave FC as the team sits ninth in the league with a 3-5-6 record.

“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, who served as an assistant with the Wave in 2022, has been named interim head coach.

The Wave have not won in their last seven matches (0-2-5) and have only recorded two wins since the end of March.

The firing of Stoney, who was hired in 2021 as the club's first-ever head coach and led the Wave to the 2023 NWSL Shield and the 2024 Challenge Cup, comes two days after their 0-0 draw with the Houston Dash. Following the match, Stoney criticized the NWSL for its schedule making, calling their three-game road trip through Houston, Washington D.C. and New Jersey in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit "unacceptable."

"I think it's extremely unfair on players," said Stoney on Saturday. "I think for player welfare, to ask us to go to Washington away, [Gotham] away, and then come to Houston in June two days after we've played the previous game, it's unacceptable. Scheduling-wise, it shouldn't happen."

NWSL teams have seen changes in how the schedule is laid out over the past two seasons. Each team plays at least one game midweek along with a weekend match.

Stoney, the 2022 NWSL Coach of the Year, added that she felt her team was being "punished" because Wave beat NY/NJ Gotham in the Challenge Cup in March, forcing their regular-season meeting to be rescheduled for last Wednesday in New Jersey.

"There is no reason," she said. "Because in this league, we don't work with foresight, if I'm honest."

The club and Stoney had agreed to a contract extension in January that would have kept her in San Diego through the 2027 NWSL season, with a mutual option for 2028.