Photo by Rui Vieira / AP

Above: Manchester United manager Casey Stoney gestures file photo during the English Women’s Super League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at the Bank Stadium in Walsall, England this Saturday 5th December 2020.

The San Diego National Women’s Soccer League club has named former English player and manager of Manchester United, Casey Stoney, as their first head coach in history, the club said on Wednesday.

Stoney, 39, has been the manager of Manchester United in the FA Women’s Super League since 2018. She led Manchester United to 52 wins in 77 competitive games and secured promotion to the 2018-19 Football Association Women’s Championship in her first season with the club.

“One of the best-honored, most respected and talented English players of all time, Casey has been a seamless manager,” said Jill Ellis, president of the NWSL of San Diego. “She immediately made Manchester United Women Football Club a prestigious contender and established herself as one of the top managers in the league.

“Casey has all the qualities we expect from our manager and she is fully committed to making San Diego NWSL a globally successful club and brand led by powerful and talented women,” continued Ellis . “We are very happy to have her as our manager and look forward to what she will bring to our club and our city.”

NWSL San Diego is the 12th and newest club in the National Women’s Soccer League. The club’s name, coat of arms and permanent venue will be announced at a later date.

Stoney led her team to the 2018-19 Football Association Women’s Championship and secured promotion to the FA Women’s Super League in their first season with the club. In the FA WSL, Stoney won 22 wins in 36 league games and led her team to two consecutive fourth places in the first two seasons in England’s top division.

“I am extremely excited and motivated to lead the San Diego NWSL on the field for the next season and beyond,” said Stoney. “Jill and this group of owners are deeply committed to building a world-class club both on and off the field and I look forward to working as a team to shape our culture and style of play.

“I’m looking forward to starting work just before our first year of competition in the NWSL next season,” she concluded.

As a player, Stoney was one of the most decorated and successful members of England’s England women’s national team, which played 130 international matches while playing in three FIFA Women’s World Cups from 2001 to 2017, in addition to the London 2012 Olympics. Professionally, she represented Charlton Athletic, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Lincoln in England and played over 100 competitive games.

In 2008 and 2012, Stoney was honored with the FA International Player of the Year Award as England’s best national player. She also led her teams to four women’s FA Cup titles – 2001, 2005, 2014, 2016 – four FA Women’s Premier League Cup titles – 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006 – and three FA Women’s Community Shield wins – 2000, 2001, 2004.

The appointment of Stoney follows Molly Downtain’s announcement earlier this week as the club’s first general manager. It completes the hiring of two key technical positions in the club hierarchy as the team prepares for the game to start in spring 2022.

The National Women’s Soccer League is a professional women’s soccer league with 12 teams, in which national players from all over the world are represented. The clubs are the Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, OL Reign, NY / NJ Gotham FC, Kansas City, Washington Spirit, and Racing Louisville FC. The NWSL is based in Chicago and works with the Canadian Soccer Association and the United States Soccer Federation.

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