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Angel City FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Simone Charley

Attacker was quietly effective for expansion side.

Nikita Taparia

Simone Charley was an intriguing addition to Angel City FC’s roster for the inaugural 2022 season. Traded from the Portland Thorns, where she played two seasons, the Vanderbilt product was an up-and-coming fleet-footed attacker.

That largely continued with the Angels. Charley offered something Angel City’s attack did not otherwise have — blazing speed, an ability to stretch the field vertically on breaks, and a real knack for drawing fouls and penalties when her team needed it.

Here are Charley’s competitive stats with ACFC in 2022:

Simone Charley Angel City FC 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Challenge Cup 3 2 222 1 1 6 5 1 0
Regular Season 20 10 1,075 2 0 21 11 1 0
Total 23 12 1,297 3 1 27 16 2 0

I’m not sure if Charley was dealing with knocks or just trying to convince Freya Coombe to play her more, but whatever it was, she certainly earned more playing time over the course of the year.

Vanessa Gilles earned the reputation of being Angel City’s aerial threat in attack, but Charley in fact scored two goals with her head this year.

And this is the production she provided. She didn’t score a lot, admittedly, but in addition to her goals, Charley led the team in penalties drawn, with two, and indirectly set up a few goals along the way.

An underrated part of Charley’s game as well is her defensive skills from the front. In an era where the entire team must defend, and forwards are expected to initiate the press, Charley’s ability to close down space and put in the defensive work makes her a strong defensive forward.

Plus, as you can see in her scouting report on, Charley is elite at dribbling. Again, her verticality is elite!

In addition, Charley led Angel City in Goals Added on American Soccer Analysis, with +1.6 goals added across the Challenge Cup and regular season. That mark is good for 20th in the league in 2022 among outfield players, so while she wasn’t a goal machine, in some ways she may have been among the most valuable players in terms of contributions on the field for ACFC.

Charley is under contract in 2023 and I see no clear reason why she won’t be back for next year with Angel City. It’ll be interesting to see her on a healthy squad next season — she didn’t seem to see a ton of time on the field with Christen Press, for example, and as their games are quite different, they seem like they can certainly co-exist on the field together. In particular, while I’m not sure if Charley can be a lead the line No. 9 who charges for the Golden Boot, I do think with a more coherent and healthy attack, she can raise her scoring load considerably. Would it be reasonable to see her hit seven goals? For sure. Hopefully we see that happen in 2023 with the Angels.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.