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Angel City FC acquire NWSL rights and sign Mary Alice Vignola

Defender set to start stateside career after Iceland stint.

Arizona v Tennessee
Vignola (right) at Tennessee.
Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Angel City FC announced on Monday they have acquired the NWSL rights to defender Mary Alice Vignola in a trade with the Washington Spirit. Vignola was a Discovery player for the Spirit, who will receive $30,000 in allocation money and allocated player protection from Angel City FC in the upcoming NWSL expansion draft on Thursday. Angel City have signed her to a two-year deal with an option on a third year.

Vignola, 23, has spent the last two years playing professionally in Iceland, first for Thróttur Reykjavík in 2020 and then Valur in 2021, where she won the league title. Prior to that, she starred for the University of Tennessee from 2016-19.

“Mary Alice is an exciting young player that we are delighted to welcome to Angel City,” said ACFC sporting director Eni Aluko in a team statement. “Her athleticism and versatility as a defender is important to what we are building in our defensive unit with her ability to also have freedom in our attack. Her vibrant personality will also be positive for our team culture.”

While she hasn’t played in the NWSL previously, there appears to be interest in her around the league, per The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf.

Vignola scored eight goals in 30 league games across two seasons in Iceland, which is a pretty good rate for a defender. We’ll see where she slots in to Freya Coombe’s squad for 2022.

“It has been a dream of mine to play in the NWSL and I am beyond excited to get started in LA,” said Vignola. “Growing up watching players such as Abby Wambach, Christen Press, and Mia Hamm, I aspired to be like them. Now I get the chance to improve my game playing with them and for them. Having the opportunity to join this club that has already made such a difference in the community and building a family is something to be excited for. I can’t wait to get the season started.”

Vignola is the fourth player announced to ACFC’s roster ahead of the Expansion Draft, joining Christen Press, Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden. There’s sure to be more moves in the days to come, and we’ll keep you posted on them.

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