Sam Staab became the fourth player in NWSL history to earn a three-time Iron Woman acknowledgment as a defender for the Washington Spirit. Her 7.43 percent blocked shots rate speaks to her premier defensive abilities.
With 1,980 minutes played and 90 consecutive starts, Staab was also a finalist for the NWSL Defender of the Year. Staab was joined by other finalists, Naomi Girma, Sarah Gorden, Ali Krieger, and Kaleigh Kurtz.
Drafted by the Spirit in 2019 from Clemson University, the defender has had one goal a season since 2019–that’s making the senior national team. Staab has yet to get a call-up. The San Diego native’s performances have questioned U.S Soccer’s reasoning for not bringing her on.
Earning a spot in the best starting eleven in the league in March/April and second best starting eleven in May, Staab is used to NWSL honors. During the 2020 season, she received Defender of the Year by the Washington Spirit. A league-wide award would sit high on her accomplishment list.
During her senior year at Clemson, Staab earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year. In fact, in every season of her college career, she earned All-ACC honors. In her freshman season, she received school-wide Rookie of the Year and ACC All-Freshman team honors.
Not only has Staab earned one goal a season, but she has also assisted a goal at least once per season since her NWSL beginning in 2019. In 2021, she tallied two assists.
Her fouls committed over the last two seasons just go to show her impressive work rate and grit. In 2022 and 2023 combined, Staab had committed 39 fouls on opposing teams’ offenses. Throughout her professional career, she has tallied 14 yellow cards and one red card.
Staab’s consistent successful pass rates prove her dependability and playmaking prowess. The average successful pass rates between the 2021 and 2022 seasons were 81 percent.
As Emma Hayes steps into the new head coach role for the USWNT, Staab could be a defender to look for on upcoming rosters.
GIRLS SOCCER NETWORK: YOUR SOURCE FOR GIRLS SOCCER NEWS