Angel City To Begin NWSL in 2020
Professional Womens Soccer Arrives In LA
July 23, 2020
Please make some room, LAFC and the LA Galaxy, there's a new team in town. And it's called: Angel City. The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced that a majority woman-founded group has secured the exclusive right to bring a professional women's soccer team to Los Angeles beginning in Spring 2022.
The group is led by media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, and tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, who led the investment through his firm Initialized Capital. The team's official name will be announced by the end of the year.
The founding investor group includes Consortium President Uhrman, Serena Williams and daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria, late night talk show host Lilly Singh and former US Women's National Team players.
They include Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen, Ronnie Fair Sullins, Joy Fawcett, Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, Tisha Venturini Hoch, and Saskia Webber, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA World Cup Champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach.
The group also includes author and activist Glennon Doyle, Netflix VP Original Content Cindy Holland, tech entrepreneur and filmmaker Casey Neistat, Founding Board Member of Baby2Baby, Sabina Nathanson, Media Executive David Nathanson, Baby2Baby Co-President Norah Weinstein, and Bad Robot President and COO Brian Weinstein.
"We took this as an opportunity to listen, talk to players, union reps, presidents and owners to develop a totally new playbook of how to build a professional sports team where mission and capital, entertainment and sport, were equally important," said Founder Kara Nortman.
NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird stated: "We've long sought the right partner in LA considering the NWSL fanbase that already exists in the region and the massive interest in women's soccer in general. Those factors, along with an incredible ownership group make this an ideal situation and we couldn't be more thrilled to move forward."
"As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front row seat to this revolution," said Ohanian. I'm personally investing on behalf of my family because creating more opportunities in women's sports is important to my wife and me, and we want to be a part of making a better future for our daughter." Lead Founding Investor, Alexis Ohanian.
"To kick off our relationship, WFC LA/Angel City is now a formal supporter of the Play Equity Fund. The Play Equity Fund is committed to leveling the playing field to help ensure that all kids across Los Angeles have access and the opportunity to experience the transformational power of sport," said Uhrman.
Portman: "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."
The NWSL was established in 2012 and began play in 2013 with eight teams, including four teams from the former Women's Professional Soccer league. There are currently nine teams in the league: Chicago Red Stars, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Sky Blue FC, Houston Dash, OL Reign, Portland Thorns FC, Utah Royals FC and the Washington Spirit.
On the pitch, the NWSL will crown the 2020 Challenge Cup Champion this Sunday, July 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The Houston Dash advanced to the Championship by defeating Portland Thorns FC, 1-0, on Tuesday night, July 22. They will take on the winner of the Chicago Red Stars – Sky Blue FC match, determined tonight, Wednesday, July 23. The Championship match will be televised on CBS TV, starting at 9:30 a.m. PDT.