LOS ANGELES (BVM) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is expanding into Los Angeles in the most L.A. way possible.
Led by a majority-woman group which includes Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman and a handful of former U.S. Women’s National Team stars in Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Julie Foudy and Lauren Holiday, exclusive rights have been secured to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles to kick off in Spring 2022.
The founding investor group even includes Serena Williams (and her 2-year-old daughter), Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and more.
The team’s official name and venue partner will be announced before the end of the year, but the group has formally coined itself “Angel City” in honor of its planned home in Los Angeles.
#NWSL is coming to the City of Angels 🤩
— NWSL (@NWSL) July 21, 2020
“Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group,” Portman said in a NWSL press release. “I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles. Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base.
“We also hope to make a substantive impact on our community, committing to extending access to sports for young people in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation.”
Created with a share of the 1984 Olympic Games surplus, according to its website, the LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs, public education and advocates for the important role sports participation plays in positive youth development. The foundation supports hundreds of non-profit youth sports organizations throughout Southern California annually, trains coaches, commissions research, convenes conferences and maintains the world’s premier Olympic and sports library collection.
In addition to the club’s partnership with the LA84 Foundation, Angel City is also a formal supporter of the Play Equity Fund, a nonprofit committed to driving access to sports for underserved communities.
The founders are not only excited for the opportunity to build a club from the ground up, but also to drive further dialogue about the issues impacting the L.A. community.
“We come together with a collective passion for bringing about change,” founder and president Julie Uhrman said. “Change for our players, change for our fans and change for our community. Change that begins today.”
Angel City will mark the return of first-division professional women’s soccer to L.A. since the folding of the Los Angeles Sol after one season in the old Women’s Professional Soccer league.
“Sports are such a joyful way to bring people together, and this has the power to make tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere,” Portman said.
The time has come to reshape expectations on & off the soccer field.
— We Are Angel City (@weareangelcity) July 21, 2020