6 August 2020
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) welcomes first ever majority women owned and founded club
The first majority women-owned and led National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club will start playing in Los Angeles in 2022.
Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach are some of the 14 former USWNT players involved in a project that boasts star-studded founders including Serena Williams, Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria, who also help make up the ownership group.
The team will have the placeholder name of 'Angel City', in honour of their planned home in LA.
An official name and venue will be announced later in the year for the club that "aim to be champions on the field, and champions for equality off the field.”
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Wambach, a FIFA Women's World Cup champion and six-time winner of the US Soccer Athlete of the Year award, took to social media to explain how Angel City came about following a chance meeting with Academy award-winning actress Portman.
"A couple of years ago, I spoke to a group of women about the fear and anger I felt when I retired from soccer and realised that my hustling days were just beginning," said Wambach. "I had to start over and recreate my entire career just to pay my bills.
"Natalie Portman was in the audience that day.
"As Natalie listened, she became infuriated by the inequity between the men’s and women’s experience inside of professional sports.
"She had a crazy idea: 'Why don’t we start our own team and do it differently - with the respect and equality and celebration these women deserve?'
"The way a team is traditionally bought is that one or two ridiculously rich men buy it. So Natalie reimagined this Old Boys Club system. What if - instead of ONE rich man buying the team - a PACK OF WOMEN band together to start one?"
For Wambach, watching the seeds of an idea grow to fruition has been a dream come true.
"I always dreamed, while I was playing, that I’d one day be part of founding a professional soccer team that operates by New Rules," she added. "That dream faded after retirement. Today - with the vision and power of this new Angel City Wolfpack - that dream comes back to life for me and many of my former team-mates."
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