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New year, new spot? Angel City FC’s Madison Hammond on position change

Player discusses aftermath of friendly vs. América.

NWSL: NWSL Pre-season friendly soccer-Club America at Angel City FC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Hammond is entering her second season with Angel City FC, and her fourth as a professional player overall. But in our first look of ACFC in 2023, in Wednesday’s friendly against Club América, Hammond was in an unfamiliar spot on the field.

Hammond, a defender in her career to date, was a midfielder from the start in the friendly, and with a spot in the midfield seemingly up for grabs this year with Cari Roccaro traded away in the offseason, Hammond may have a real shot at making a more permanent switch.

“Yes, I have traditionally been a defender in this league,” Hammond told Angels on Parade this week. “And I think that for right now we were just kind of testing out the playing in the midfield, but hopefully it’s something that I get to kind of do long term. I just switched back into center back later in the game, but it was just really fun to get to play in the midfield. It’s a totally different game in there. And I think it’ll be something really exciting for the year.”

Hammond may traditionally be a defender, but she has experience across the backline in her career, playing both at center back and fullback. That versatility, plus the need for Angel City to need defensive help specifically in the middle of the park, makes the possible position switch entirely sensible.

Hammond, who was profiled in an upcoming show on Fuse, “Like a Girl,” about her experiences and outlook as a biracial woman and the NWSL’s first indigenous player, was happy to see the response from Wednesday’s friendly against América, which Angel City won 3-0.

“I think that it was, one, really incredible to see the amount of fans. I think that there was kind of a part of me that felt like a real game and a real home opener,” she explained. “And I think just the energy it was just a great reminder of the community that we’ve built here in LA and the fact that 15,000 people can show up for a scrimmage was pretty remarkable. And for me personally, it was really nice to be back out on the field. I was in a new position, a new role that’s kind of been developing this year. And it’s definitely been a learning curve, but at the same time, I’ve really embraced it and it was just really fun to get to be back out with the team.”

Angel City had a pretty good debut season last year, by NWSL standards, falling just short of a playoff berth amid a raft of injuries throughout the campaign. Hammond says the team feels like they’re building toward something bigger this time around.

“I think last year, you know, it was year one, nobody knew each other. Nobody knew how we played. We’d all come from different backgrounds and varying levels of experience. And so to kind of just be back with kind of that family unit and being like, ‘Okay, well we can really do something cool this year and this is just a minor baby step of a foundation for the year’ was just something that was really exciting,” she said.

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