Stoney sacked by San Diego

Casey Stoney watches a game during her time as San Diego Wave head coach
Stoney's San Diego Wave side won the NWSL Challenge Cup in March [Getty Images]

Casey Stoney has been sacked as boss of NWSL club San Diego Wave.

The former England and Arsenal defender, 42, moved to San Diego in 2021, two months after leading Manchester United to fourth place in the WSL.

Wave won the NWSL Shield last season - awarded to the team with the most wins - but they have managed just three league victories in 14 games during this campaign and are winless in the last seven.

"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 president Jill Ellis.

"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."

Wave started this season by beating NJ/NY Gotham FC in the NWSL Challenge Cup in March, played between the 2023 Shield and Championship winners.

A new ownership group agreed to buy the franchise that month and the deal is expected to be completed at the end of the 2024 season.

As well as Arsenal, Stoney also represented Charlton, Chelsea, Lincoln and Liverpool during her playing career, earning 130 England caps along the way.

She became the first manager of the newly formed Manchester United team in 2018, helping them win the Championship title and promotion to the WSL in their inaugural season.

'Stoney unlikely to be short of offers'

Emma Sanders, BBC Sport

Stoney's time in the NWSL has been a whirlwind, having led the club to their first two trophies in 2023 and 2024 before a poor run of form hit this season.

There has been change at Wave recently with new general manager Camille Ashton coming in and this news of Stoney's shock sacking comes six months after she signed a new long-term deal until 2027, with a mutual option to extend to 2028.

Her departure will raise eyebrows in England with the former Manchester United boss highly regarded by many in the WSL.

She reportedly showed interest in the Chelsea job when Emma Hayes departed but did not make the shortlist and has often been tipped as a future England coach.

There are currently three vacancies in the WSL at Aston Villa, Leicester and Brighton and they would be foolish to not consider Stoney.

Both Villa and Leicester are believed to be in the advanced stages of appointing their new managers, but Stoney's sudden availability might attract their attention with nothing yet agreed.

Whatever is next for Stoney, she has shown her potential at both United and Wave, and is unlikely to be short of offers.