Spirit’s Sam Staab Looks Forward to Leading Team During International Window

Washington Spirit  |   July 1, 2022
Spirit’s Sam Staab Looks Forward to Leading Team During International Window Featured Image

Sam Staab will take a work trip home to San Diego for the first time in her professional career this weekend. To make matters even more exciting for the fourth-year defender, Sunday’s match will also be the first time Staab will wear the captain’s sleeve for the Spirit. In the absence of Washington’s USWNT players, Staab has been trusted to lead the side through its next three matches.

“Obviously winning is our number one priority, we’re starting to get into playoff mode now and just need to win. As a team, this is a great opportunity for growth and to give a lot of people playing time to build up their confidence. While we are missing a good portion of our team, a lot of our players have a good chance to gain experience they wouldn’t normally have.”

With seven Spirit starters away for international competition, Staab is taking on a big role. As she prepares for her first stint as a team captain, Staab is embracing the role as an opportunity to lead in her own way. 

“I think people lead in different ways and that’s the attitude I’m taking into it. I don’t see my role necessarily changing overall but I will have to feel it out and make the best of the situation.”

Since being drafted fourth overall by Washington in 2019, Staab has started in every match for the Spirit and finished all but one match due to a red card that was later overturned. With over 50 caps to her name and closing in on 5,000 career minutes played, Staab has cemented herself as one of the NWSL’s iron women.

“I’m extremely excited for her to step up as captain,” said head coach and El Cajon native Kris Ward. “Especially during this interim period, she’s shown a tremendous amount of growth over the last four years on a personal level as well as a professional level so it’s exciting to have her first game as captain be back at home essentially for both her and myself. To be in front of what will be over a hundred Sam Staab fans, it’s just going to be very cool and I’m just happy I get to be a part of it.”

Making one’s debut in the captain’s sleeve is a momentous occasion, and doing so in your hometown in front of family and friends is meaningful beyond words. Sunday’s match will be a day Staab will never forget.

“I’m just so excited, it’s going to be so much fun” said Sam. “I can’t believe it’s already here, I feel like I’ve been planning with my family for so long. I have no other words other than to say I’m so excited and it’s going to be so much fun.”

The Spirit will take on first-place Wave FC this Sunday at 5:00 p.m. EST in the side’s first-ever trip to California. While the defending champs are without seven regulars who are on USWNT duty, San Diego is not too far behind. Wave FC will be missing six players due to international commitments including the league’s leading scorer Alex Morgan. Sunday’s match will stream on Paramount+ and Twitch for international viewers.

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