2022 NWSL expansion team Angel City FC officially have only one player at this point, Christen Press, and it appears in their quest to add more players to the roster, they got overzealous with another player, Gotham FC midfielder Allie Long.
The NWSL announced on Thursday that due to violations of the league’s tampering policy related to Long, Angel City will forfeit $20,000 in allocation money for 2022 and have been fined an additional $20,000.
Long, 34, has previously been a U.S. National Team teammate of Press, and has played for three NWSL teams — the Portland Thorns, OL Reign and this year, Gotham FC. Of course, Gotham is where Angel City FC head coach Freya Coombe coached until she was hired by the expansion side this year.
It’s unclear how the tampering took place and by whom, but my guess is that bigger picture, rival teams are getting more territorial and/or the league is probably going to crack down more. Either Angel City were so egregious with a practice that is, frankly, fairly common that they needed to be held in check, or teams are trying to keep an edge, especially with a team that would seem to be as appealing as Angel City, entering the fray. Given the league has already sanctioned the club for a separate offense, announcing Press’ signing before the deal was official at the league, they probably want to send a message to ACFC.
Now what does the money side mean for Angel City? I guess they can afford to just burn the $20,000 fine, although that’s certainly not ideal, but the $20,000 in lost allocation money has ramifications for the roster in 2022. They can’t use that $20,000 to pay a top-end player, nor can they trade it to another club as an asset. I don’t know if expansion teams are given more allocation money than the other teams like in MLS, but either way, $20,000 in the NWSL budget is no joke.
Also, I bet this means we won’t be hearing of additional roster moves by Angel City until the expansion draft in a month’s time, but you never know! And maybe we’ll see Long in an ACFC kit eventually, too, that could still happen. We’ll keep you posted.
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