With both the NWSL Expansion and College Drafts about two weeks away, Angel City FC continue to build their roster ahead of the inaugural 2022 season. After the team landed superstar, and LA native, Christen Press, they’ve decided to focus on the defense for their next signings.
In a move announced this morning, Angel City FC have made a trade with the Chicago Red Stars. The Red Stars will receive full protection from Angel City in the upcoming Expansion Draft, meaning they won't have to worry about ACFC selecting one of their players. For Angel City, they add the playing rights for USWNT star defender/midfielder, Julie Ertz, and NWSL Defender of the Year candidate, Sarah Gorden, as well as an International Roster Spot for both 2022 and 2023.
“Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden are two players that are so important for the defensive foundation we are building on the Angel City roster,” said ACFC Sporting Director Eni Aluko in a statement. “We know successful football teams need to have competitive defenses and we are delighted with the addition of two competitive defenders with many years of NWSL experience.”
“The level of experience and leadership that both Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden bring to a team is incredible,” said ACFC Head Coach Freya Coombe. “Julie is such a known leader and competitor on top of being a rock in the middle of the field. Sarah is absolutely one of the league’s best defenders. She was excellent all season and stood out in the NWSL Championship. They are the calibre of player that we want on the field playing for Angel City.”
Julie Ertz is a two-time Olympian and highly-decorated midfielder. She represented the USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and won bronze in the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. While competing with the USWNT, Ertz won gold in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. As an individual, Ertz won the “U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year’ honor in 2017 and 2019. She played collegiate soccer for the Santa Clara University Broncos and spent her youth career at the Serano Soccer Club, where the team won nine state titles.
Sarah Gorden, is coming off a very successful 2021 campaign in the NWSL. She started every single match for the Red Stars, and was a true iron-woman, as she played every single minute of the 2021 season for the Red Stars. Not only a candidate for Defender of the Year, she was also in consideration for the NWSL MVP award. Having just competed in the NWSL Championship game, she is a player who knows what it takes to reach the very top, and one you can depend on to perform at the highest level, consistently.
After today's moves, two things are very clear. Angel City are not looking to take part, but take over, upon their arrival in 2022. The other thing, players want to play in Los Angeles, for this club, even before they’ve hit the pitch. That desire will only grow around the league, should this team see immediate success. For now, they seem to be building quite the star-studded roster, in true LA fashion.