Women’s soccer has been causing uproar and getting the recognition it deserves in the past few years. The new faces in the game are upping the game, and one such player is Naomi Girma, a San Diego Wave FC defender in the NWSL.
Apart from being one skilled athlete, Girma also gets paid handsomely. So if you are curious about Naomi Girma’s salary from her professional career and background, keep reading until the end. She is one promising athlete in soccer to look out for.
Have Ethiopian Roots
Naomi Girma is the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants. One interesting fact about Ethiopia is that children take their father’s first name as their last name. Hence, Naomi’s last name came from her father, Girma Aweke. Naomi has an elder brother, Nathaniel Girma, and her mother, Seble Demissie.
Naomi’s father fled Ethiopia on foot with his four friends in the 80s. After a hard and challenging journey where he could have died due to malaria if one kind family hadn’t helped and taken care of him, he reached Sudan and stayed there with 15 others in a traditional hut.
After daily trips to the U.N. office, Naomi Girma’s dad became one of the 5,000 refugees who were sent to San Francisco. He worked minimum wages and paid his way through college. He got an electrical engineering degree and met his wife, Seble, through the Bay Area’s Ethiopian community.
Naomi Haile Girma was born on June 14, 2000, and now plays for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Her dad and mom must be so proud of her achievements. After all, Girma’s parents went through a struggle for a better life for her and her siblings. Another USWNT soccer player from a humble beginning is Adrianna Franch, a goalkeeper who plays for Kansas City.
Pathway To NWSL
Naomi started playing for a local club her father formed for the Bay Area Ethiopian community. She joined the local youth club, Central Valley Crossfire, from 2010 until its dissolution in 2017. Coach Bob Joyce, under whom Girma played in the crossfire, encouraged her to participate in Olympic Development Program events and got called into the United States U-14 national team camp.
Girma feels grateful to her parents, who introduced her to the sport as soccer was their way to navigate between two worlds-one they left behind and one they are living in now. Thanks to soccer, Naomi got so many opportunities that neither she nor her family knew.
As a first-generation immigrant family, Naomi did all she could to blend in by learning from friends and her parents asking around. Finally, she got into Stanford University and played for Stanford Cardinal as a team captain. In her captaincy, Cardinal won the 2019 Women’s College Cup.
In December 2021, Girma applied for the 2022 NWSL Draft, which selects eligible college players. She became the first pick of the San Diego Wave FC and was named NWSL Rookie of the Month.
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Grief Of Losing A Bestfriend
Finding friends who cheer louder for your success is difficult, but Germa found one such friendship in Katie Meyer, who was a Stanford goalkeeper. When Naomi was selected No.1 in the NWSL draft by San Diego Wave FC, Meyer was one among her other friends who cheered and celebrated with her.
Girma and Meyer stayed by each other’s side throughout their college years. But a month into a new life at San Diego Wave, Naomi received the shattering news. Her best friend, Meyer, was found dead in her dorm room, and her death was ruled a suicide.
Heartbroken, Germa posted a tribute reel for her dear friend on her Instagram. During Stanford graduation, Naomi, Catarina Macario, and Sam Hiatt went Star Wars-themed and extended their lightsabers toward the sky in honor of Katie.
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The grief of losing your loved ones must have been devastating to Naomi, but regardless she pulled herself up and is doing her best. The San Diego defender is simultaneously getting her master’s in management science and engineering from Stanford as well.
Income From Professional Soccer
Starting in 2023, the NWSL has raised players’ minimum salary by 60%, including free housing, transportation, health benefits, and 401k matching contribution. The exact number isn’t stated, but as a player in USWNT, Naomi Girma’s salary could be of notable amount.
Girma also gets sponsorship deals from high-end brands like Nike. Such deals add up to the athlete’s income. She is living a comfortable and reputable life. Naomi has just started her professional career.
Five months out from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USWNT is preparing its team, where Naomi is considered one of the important players. We wish Naomi all the best for the bright future ahead.
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