Hollywood stars and ex-USWNT gamers unite to carry NWSL group to Los Angeles

Hollywood stars and greater than a dozen former members of the U.S. girls’s nationwide group (USWNT) have shaped an possession group to carry girls’s skilled soccer to Los Angeles in 2022.

The brand new group, 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 contains actresses Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Natalie Portman, in addition to speak present host Lilly Singh.

Tennis star Serena Williams, who’s married to Ohanian, can be a part of the possession group.

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 carry a girls’s skilled soccer membership to Los Angeles,” Ohanian stated.

“Mainly, as a result of I am a fan of the sport, but additionally as a result of I imagine 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 soccer with my two-year-old daughter, I would like her to have a entrance row seat to this revolution.”

Many of the former U.S. gamers are both Southern California natives or have ties to the realm, as within the case of Hamm, who can be a part of the Main League Soccer (MLS) LAFC possession group.

The Angel Metropolis group didn’t point out an instantaneous affiliation with an present MLS group or different entity and stated a venue associate, in addition to the membership’s official identify, can be introduced at a later date.

Six of the 9 present NWSL groups are affiliated with males’s skilled groups, 4 with MLS groups, one with a United Soccer League (USL) group and one with Olympique Lyonnais of France.

The NWSL’s latest group 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 yr of competitors and doesn’t have a group primarily based 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 groups in Southern California — the WUSA’s San Diego Spirit and WPS’ Los Angeles Sol.

“We have lengthy sought the best associate in LA contemplating the NWSL fanbase that already exists within the area and the huge curiosity in girls’s soccer normally,” NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird stated in an announcement.

“These components, together with an unbelievable possession group make this a perfect state of affairs and we could not be extra thrilled to maneuver ahead.”

Spanish superpower Barcelona publicly indicated its curiosity in fielding an NWSL group 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 regularly 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 group 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 group would be the NWSL’s 11th group, following Racing Louisville’s debut in 2021.

Neither the WUSA nor WPS ever fielded as many as 11 groups. The NWSL started play in 2013 with eight groups and reached its earlier excessive water mark of 10 groups within the 2016-17 seasons, earlier than the Boston Breakers folded previous to the 2018-19 season.

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