Casey Stoney has been announced as the head coach of the San Diego NWSL National Women’s Football League expansion team.
The former England international stepped down as manager of Manchester United at the end of the last women’s Super League campaign after three seasons at the helm. San Diego is currently preparing for its first season in the NWSL. The president of the team is former head coach of the United States, Jill Ellis.
“I am extremely excited and motivated to lead the San Diego NWSL onto the field next season and beyond,” Stoney said on the team’s official website. “Jill and this group of owners are deeply committed to building a world class club both on and off the field.
“I look forward to being part of creating our culture and our style of team play,” added the 39-year-old. “I can’t wait to start working immediately before our first year of NWSL competition next season. “
“Casey is one of England’s most decorated, distinguished and talented players of all time and she has grown perfectly in her role as manager,” said Ellis. “She immediately made Manchester United Women respected contenders and established herself as one of the best managers in the league. “
“Casey has all the qualities we look for in our manager and she is fully committed to making San Diego NWSL a globally successful club and brand led by powerful and talented women,” added Ellis. “We are delighted to have her as our manager and look forward to what she will bring to our club and to our city. “
Stoney played for Arsenal, Charlton and Chelsea among others and made 130 appearances in England before joining the England coaching staff under then-head coach Phil Neville. They took charge of Manchester United in their first season as a professional team, guiding them to the 2018-19 league title.
The coach has since secured fourth successive places in the Women’s Super League, finishing last season just one point behind third-placed Arsenal, who qualified for the Women’s Champions League.
Stoney unexpectedly left United in May amid uncertainty over the team’s facilities and training schedule. She had recently been linked as manager of the men’s team at Wrexham, the club owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny.
San Diego will join the NWSL for the 2022 season with Angel City, a Los Angeles-based franchise backed by a predominantly female ownership group co-founded by actor Natalie Portman, and with investment from Jessica Chastain, Eva Longoria and Serena. Williams, among others.