21 Jul Hollywood stars and ex-USWNT gamers unite to deliver NWSL team to Los Angeles
Hollywood stars and greater than a dozen former members of the U.S. girls’s nationwide team have shaped an possession group to deliver girls’s skilled soccer to Los Angeles in 2022.
The brand new team, which has but to be named, was introduced on Tuesday.
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Led by enterprise capitalists Alexis Ohanian and Kara Nortman and entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, the possession group additionally consists of actresses Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Natalie Portman, in addition to speak present host Lilly Singh.
Serena Williams, who’s married to Ohanian, can also be a part of the possession group.
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Among the many 14 former USWNT gamers who’re a part of the group are Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Lauren Vacation and Abby Wambach.
“I’m proud to be part of this glorious group working to deliver a girls’s skilled football membership to Los Angeles,” Ohanian mentioned.
“Mainly, as a result of I am a fan of the sport, but in addition as a result of I consider there’s huge potential for the game and it has been absurdly undervalued by too many individuals for a lot too lengthy. As somebody who spends hours kicking round a football with my 2-year-old daughter, I need her to have a front-row seat to this revolution.”
A lot of the former U.S. gamers are Southern California natives or have ties to the realm, as is the case for Hamm, who can also be a part of the Main League Soccer (MLS) LAFC possession group.
The Angel Metropolis group didn’t point out a direct affiliation with an current MLS team or different entity and mentioned a venue companion, in addition to the membership’s official title, could be introduced at a later date.
Six of the 9 present NWSL teams are affiliated with males’s skilled teams: 4 with MLS teams, one with a United Soccer League (USL) team and one with Olympique Lyonnais of France.
The NWSL’s latest team, Racing Louisville FC, which was introduced in October and can play within the 2021 league, is affiliated with the USL’s Louisville Metropolis FC.
Los Angeles had lengthy been seen as a touchdown spot for the NWSL, which is now in its eighth 12 months of competitors and doesn’t have a team based mostly in California.
Each the Girls’s United Soccer Affiliation (WUSA) and Girls’s Skilled Soccer (WPS) leagues, earlier iterations of the ladies’s skilled soccer league, had teams in Southern California — the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit and WPS’ Los Angeles Sol.
“We have lengthy sought the appropriate companion in LA contemplating the NWSL fanbase that already exists within the area and the huge curiosity in girls’s soccer usually,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird mentioned in an announcement.
“These elements, together with an unimaginable possession group make this a really perfect state of affairs and we could not be extra thrilled to maneuver ahead.”
Spanish superpower Barcelona had publicly indicated its curiosity in fielding an NWSL team within the Los Angeles market in 2017, however no deal was ever reached.
Both as a part of a enterprise with Barcelona or independently, LAFC has additionally been continuously linked to NWSL curiosity. Aduba, Ferrera, Garner, Longoria and Portman attended when the USWNT beat Belgium at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium in 2019.
The opposite former nationwide team gamers within the possession group are Shannon Boxx, Rachel Buehler, Amanda Cromwell, Pleasure Fawcett, Tisha Venturini Hoch, Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, Saskia Webber and sisters Lorrie Honest Allen and Ronnie Honest Sullins.
The Los Angeles team would be the NWSL’s 11th team, following Racing Louisville’s debut in 2021.
Neither the WUSA nor WPS ever fielded as many as 11 teams. The NWSL started play in 2013 with eight teams and reached its earlier high-water mark of 10 teams within the 2016-17 seasons, earlier than the Boston Breakers folded previous to the 2018-19 season.