The news is now official, with NWSL announcing Tuesday they have granted an expansion team in Los Angeles, to begin play in 2022.
The ownership group is large and, quite frankly, famous, primarily made up of women, too. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is lead investor, and his wife, tennis superstar Serena Williams and their 2-year-old daughter are also officially investors as well. Actress Natalie Portman is part of the lead group, as well as entrepreneurs Julie Uhrman and Kara Nortman.
But that’s not all: Here’s the rest of the ownership group, per a league release.
Actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria, late night talk show host Lilly Singh, former US Women’s National Team players including twelve representing Southern California including Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen, Ronnie Fair Sullins, Joy Fawcett, Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, Tisha Venturini Hoch, and Saskia Webber, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA World Cup Champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach, author and activist Glennon Doyle, Netflix VP Original Content Cindy Holland, tech entrepreneur and filmmaker Casey Neistat, Founding Board Member of Baby2Baby, Sabina Nathanson, Media Executive David Nathanson, Baby2Baby Co-President Norah Weinstein, and Bad Robot President and COO Brian Weinstein.
For now, the team is calling itself Angel City FC, but that is apparently not set in stone, with the club vowing to release their official name and reveal their venue by the end of this year. As we saw with LAFC, a placeholder name could very well end up being the real thing.
“The growth trajectory of the NWSL is incredibly exciting, but we also need to be strategic and thoughtful about how fast we expand and the communities we partner with,” said NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird in a statement. “We’ve long sought the right partner in LA considering the NWSL fanbase that already exists in the region and the massive interest in women’s soccer in general. Those factors, along with an incredible ownership group make this an ideal situation and we couldn’t be more thrilled to move forward.”
The NWSL began play in 2013, and is the longest-running first-tier women’s professional soccer league in the United States. Currently made up of nine teams, a 10th, Racing Louisville, is scheduled to begin play next year. With Los Angeles entering as an 11th team, there have been rumors more expansion is on the horizon.
We’ll see on that. For now, if you’ve been desperate to see top flight pro women’s soccer in Los Angeles, then Tuesday’s announcement is exceptional news indeed.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.