Los Angeles confirms NWSL expansion team for 2022
After 12 years without a professional women's side, Los Angeles is to have a team in the NWSL from 2022, it has been announced.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Tuesday that Los Angeles will have a new expansion team starting 2022. The name for the new franchise will be confirmed by the end of this year and the majority co-founders are women, with Hollywood actress Natalie Portman being one of the big names.
Portman heralds "exciting step" as LA women's team announced
"Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group. I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women's soccer team to Los Angeles. Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base," Portman said in a press release.
"We also hope to make a substantive impact on our community, committing to extending access to sports for young people in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation."
The last time Los Angeles had a professional women’s soccer team was 12 years ago. Called the LA Sol, they played at the Home Depot Center, now called the Dignity Health Sports Park, located in Carson, California, home of the LA Galaxy from the MLS.
Expansion team in talks with LA Galay over ground share
For now, the new LA-based franchise have named themselves as “Angel City” and as they determine their official name and where they will be playing their games, the LA Galaxy has confirmed that they are in talks about possibly establishing their stadium as their new home.
Angel City will have almost two years to prepare for its official launch and it is scheduled to take place the year between the two biggest events in women’s soccer, the Olympic Games and the World Cup.
LAFC has also shown their support for bringing an NWSL team to Los Angeles and six of the nine current NWSL teams are affiliated with men's professional teams: four with MLS sides, one with a United Soccer League (USL) team and one with Olympique Lyonnais of France. So far, the Angel City group have not decided whether they will do the same with LA Galaxy or LAFC, but should have a decision by the end of the year.