Culver City Observer -

By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Angel City FC - Ready to Debut

Saturday Challenge Cup vs. San Diego Wave at CSF

 

March 24, 2022

Fred Altieri

Angel City Players gather around head coach Freya Coombe during practice

Boldly emblazoned on the AngelCity.com website: "Day 1: It all starts now." The countdown is over as Angel City Football Club is ready to make its debut on the pitch this Saturday, March 19, against the San Diego Wave FC. Both Southern California teams are the latest franchises will begin competing in the National Women's Soccer League this season. It can't be overstated that their presence, rivalry and progress will be vital to the health and future success of NWSL.

"Soccer is absolutely massive in L.A.," stated Freya Coombe, ACFC's first head coach who was hired in August of last year to lead Los Angeles' initial entry into the league. "I'm new to California and Los Angeles. You come here and realize what a sporting city it is, the number of sports teams, how competitive, and how much everyone loves sports. It is vital to have representation of women's football in this city."

This week ACFC announced both its final roster to begin the season as well as the season schedule. The league opens with the Challenge Cup this Friday, March 18, and ends with the Cup Championship match on Monday, May 9. The regular season schedule starts with Angel City hosting the North Carolina Courage at Banc of California Stadium on Friday, April 29.

The officially announced roster for Angel City FC's inaugural season includes forwards: Simone Charley, Jun Endo, Tyler Lussi, Christen Press, and Jasmyne Spencer. Midfielders: Hope Breslin, Katie Cousins, Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel, Savannah McCaskill, Lily Nabet, Cari Roccaro, Miri Taylor, and Dani Weatherholt.

The defenders: Vanessa Gilles, Sarah Gorden, Madison Hammond, Paige Nielsen, Ali Riley, Allyson Swaby, M.A. Vignola, Megan Reid. The goalkeepers: DiDi Haračić, Brittany Isenhour, and Maia Perez. The coaching staff: Head Coach Freya Coombe, Assistant Head Coach and Performance Director Robert Udberg, and Head of Goalkeeping Coach Daniel Ball.

Fred Altieri

Angel City Football Club shares training fields with Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams - Cal Lutheran University

Angel City will play six Challenge Cup matches in the next 37 days. Saturday's opener against San Diego will be played at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium starting at 6:00 p.m. They will also host the OL Reign from Seattle the following Saturday, March 26, 1:00 p.m. at Titan Stadium. On Wednesday, March 30, they travel to face Portland Thorns FC at Providence Park. San Diego will host ACFC on Saturday, April 2, 1:00 p.m. at Torero Stadium. Two weeks later they travel to Seattle's Lumen Field against the OL Reign on Easter Sunday, April 17, before returning to Titan Stadium on Sunday, April 24, 6:00 p.m. against Portland.

The club's intentions are to compete for the Challenge Cup trophy, yet building a solid foundation is a priority for ACFC and Coombe: "As a coach, it's a really good opportunity to experiment, put players in different positions, and see who will perform best in certain positions. That's certainly how we'll be looking at using the Challenge Cup to get some of those tinkerings done before the start of the regular season."

 

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