The Washington Spirit had already exercised center back Sam Staab’s option for the 2023 season, but that wasn’t good enough, she deserved more. So more was offered, and announced today as accepted and signed. The former Clemson Tiger has signed a three-year deal to remain a Spirit player until at least the end of the 2025 season.
Couldn’t wait to post this!— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) January 16, 2023
Sam Staab signs a new contract ✍️
Sam Staab has been a consistent starter for the Spirit since being selected fourth overall in the 2019 NWSL Draft. Staab has flourished to the left of center back partners Paige Nielsen, then most recently Emily Sonnett. Last season, injuries to Sonnett left Staab with even more of a role to fill alongside more inexperienced players. Despite the shuffling, Staab became an NWSL Iron Woman, playing every single minute of the 2022 season.
What makes Staab exceptional as a center back is her passing ability and range with her left foot. No other player in 2022 passed for more yardage than Staab (25,226). In fact, second place is a whole two-thousand three-hundred and seventy-seven yards away!
In an era of structured high pressing, a center back that has the technique to deliver the type of pass required to evade pressure or create dangerous chances from the other end of the pitch are worth several duffel bags of vibranium.
A complete list of NWSL center backs over the past four full seasons with a higher Goals Added figure than Staab's 3.11 (league + CC) in 2022:— Jason Anderson (@JasonDCsoccer) January 16, 2023
There are none. No one is even close.
Now, to alleviate supporters’ minds about the upcoming season, the Spirit should work on letting us know her center back partner. Though the chant goes ‘She’s here! She’s there! She’s every f****nwhere!’, the laws of physics and nature state that she cannot actually be. Or, as we’ve often seen, maybe she can, but it’s an unfair ask. Either way, we’re delighted to have Sam Staab beyond the 2023 season and congratulate her on a much deserved new contract!