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Angel City FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Jasmyne Spencer

Veteran played a key, if rather unexpected, role.

NWSL: Washington Spirit at Angel City FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jasmyne Spencer was one of Angel City FC’s expansion draft selections for their inaugural 2022 season, the veteran having previously played for five NWSL clubs as well as stints in Europe and Australia.

Let’s just say Angel City really wanted to add Spencer for their debut season. An attacker who has played spot duty in other spots on the field during her career, Spencer has an impeccable reputation as a professional, always puts in a shift, and is a perfect spokesperson for the club. Behind the marquee name of Christen Press, the captaincy locked up by local native Ali Riley, Spencer is probably the player who can step up, do the media work and personal appearances as well as get to work on the field best for ACFC.

And yes, she was pretty much an automatic starter when healthy. The wrinkle? She was the starting right back.

Here are Spencer’s competitive stats with ACFC in 2022:

Jasmyne Spencer Angel City FC 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Challenge Cup 6 6 492 0 0 2 0 1 0
Regular Season 15 10 876 0 1 5 1 0 0
Total 21 16 1,368 0 1 7 1 1 0

Spencer was a fixture in the lineup, and was part of Freya Coombe’s very best coaching decision of the season, which ended up being using Spencer and fellow converted forward Tyler Lussi as the right back platoon for the season. Some of that came more or less because the options at that spot were lacking, but honestly? Spencer and Lussi both looked like they had always been fullbacks. Both players have long been defensive forwards, so it wasn’t the strangest decision in the world, and again, Spencer has played in just about every position in the NWSL over the years, so she did have some reps at the spot. But she took to it like she had always been playing there, and was not a liability whatsoever at that position for the team.

In fact, Spencer was elite across the major women’s leagues in terms of her tackling ability among fullbacks, and was among the best dribblers from that position, too, among other things in her scouting report graph.

The only reason Spencer didn’t basically start every game is because she suffered a knee injury just before the summer break and ended up missing two full months of action. On the bright side, she made it back on the field and ended up missing just seven games total across the whole season, but losing her indefinitely made Angel City very thin in depth for an extended stretch — fortunately, the defense stayed healthy enough in that stretch without her.

Now 32, Spencer is officially a free agent, something that was hotly contested but which she certainly deserves, having played every season in the NWSL’s history so far.

I think Angel City would like to bring her back, obviously, for 2023, but this is an early test for the new free agency era in the league. I think they could pay her among the most competitive salaries, but would they guarantee they’d pay the most? That’s not necessarily assured, plus it’s unclear if Spencer herself has life reasons or personal preferences as to where she really wants to play, and if so, that could play a role in what she decides to do. Still, again, she’s earned the right to choose her club in 2023, and I think the good news is she had a good season with ACFC and I think the club certainly would like her back.

We’ll see what happens, but in terms of expansion draft selections, Spencer was a home run and was exactly what Angel City were expecting in 2022: A versatile veteran who provided plenty on and off the field in the club’s debut season.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.