Kick Start!

Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo

It’s clear why Caprice Dydasco is loving life these days. The professional soccer player not only became engaged recently, but is also preparing to kick off the 2024 season with Bay FC, the latest team to join the National Women’s Soccer League.

Caprice Dydasco spent her winter holiday running at Kapi‘olani Park — a lot. “Oh, my gosh, it’s awful,” jokes the professional soccer player. “The other day, I was like, ‘Why did I choose the sport that has the most running?’ It’s the biggest field, bigger than a football field.”

As an outside back for Bay FC, the newest team in the National Women’s Soccer League, her main job is to defend the goal. Of course, as the sport has evolved, the position has changed to also being part of the attack. Endurance and quick feet are a necessity, as is expeditious decision-making in the middle of a play.

“The coaches can only tell you so many things, but when you’re on the field, you play what you see, you trust your gut,” she explains.

So, in addition to running during the off-season, Dydasco incorporated strength training and ball touches (passes, shots, dribbles, traps, etc.) into her regimen. She also added group training with her dad’s teams on O‘ahu.

Her hard work will pay off when Bay FC makes its NWSL debut next month, a milestone for the 30-year-old Dydasco and the league at large.

“We can set the bar as high as we want,” says the NWSL 2021 Defender of the Year.

As a free agent, Dydasco was able to shop around and talk to the different teams interested in signing her.

“It was the first time in my career that I could decide where I wanted to go,” she says.

Drafted by the Washington Spirit in 2015, Dydasco went on loan to the Newcastle Jets. From there, she was traded to Sky Blue FC (now known as NJ/NYGotham FC), which then traded her to the Houston Dash.

“This was my chance to do what’s best for me and my career,” she adds.

Joining Bay FC means she can do more of what she loves most: spending time with her family. When she played soccer for UCLA, her family would fly up to watch her Friday night games, and Dydasco could take flights back to visit on long weekends. Being based in California once again allows her to be closer to home — about 2,400 miles away instead of the 3,800-plus miles when she played for the Houston Dash.

“My main goal throughout my career is being closer to home, closer to family,” says the Kaimukī native and Kamehameha Schools graduate.

To say Dydasco comes from a soccer family would be an understatement. Her parents, Jose and Misty, met playing the sport when they were teenagers, and her dad still coaches youngsters on the island. Her older brother, Zane, played for the U.S. Air Force Academy (he now owns and operates the Makiki Chick-fil-A), and her younger sister, True, suited up for the Oregon Ducks’ soccer team and currently runs with the Guamanian national women’s soccer squad.

“Growing up, soccer has always been such a family-oriented sport for me,” Dydasco says. “My dad is a soccer coach, and he’s able to train me individually, and I can always jump in with one of his teams to get team training in when I’m home.”

The only member who doesn’t play is her fiance, Adam Thomas — the two got engaged in December; Dydasco’s family was present for the betrothal.

“He doesn’t tell me how to do my job; he just thinks I’m awesome,” she says, a hint of a smile in her voice. “Since we’ve been dating, he’s been getting more knowledgeable, and now he loves watching the sport. He just supports me, and that’s really nice.”

That support on the homefront allows Dydasco to support her fellow soccer players professionally. She also hopes to connect with the Bay Area community: “I’m going to be there for three years, and I look forward to making it my home.

“I still want to be good when I call it quits,” she adds with a laugh. “I want to end my career these last three years and move on, become a mom and do other things.”

But until those three years are up, Dydasco has her sights set on winning and leaving a legacy. As a veteran in the NWSL, she’s striving to be a good leader for her teammates and any up-and-coming players who might be watching.

“It’s our job and duty to help sustain this league, so we can have young girls dream about playing soccer,” Dydasco says. “I didn’t have that growing up.”

She’s proud of her time in the NWSL — she starts her 10th year in March — noting that it’s the nation’s longest-running women’s soccer league. It’s an impressive statistic, considering other professional women’s soccer leagues have folded in the past, and it’s a testament to the durability of the NWSL. Since joining a decade ago, Dydasco has seen the league grow by leaps and bounds in terms of fan support. The season has gradually gotten longer, which is good news for fans and players. The first five seasons of Dydasco’s career ran March-September; now, the season runs March-November.

“My rookie year, my salary was so low,” she recalls. “People didn’t even know what the league was. We have come a long way with attendance at games, being able to have access to watch our games. We’ve grown from eight teams to now 12, and I’m happy I can be a part of this growing league.”

Find out where to watch Dydasco and Bay FC’s 2024 season online at