NWSL expansion: Angel City investors attract former USWNT stars

The NWSL, which has been without a California team since sits launch in 2013, has awarded an expansion team to an ownership group that will operate a team in Los Angeles.

Angel City's lead founding investor is Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and husband of tennis pro Serena Williams, through his firm Initialized Capital and the founder and president is Julie Uhrman, a video game entrepreneur. Another founder is Kara Nortman, a technology venture capitalist.

The ownership group includes 14 former U.S. women's national team players, including 12 with ties to Southern California. They include Mia Hamm, one of the owners of MLS's LAFC. The other soccer owners:

Julie Foudy
Rachel Buehler
Shannon Boxx
Amanda Cromwell
Lorrie Fair Allen
Ronnie Fair Sullins
Joy Fawcett
Angela Hucles
Shannon MacMillan
Tisha Venturini Hoch
Saskia Webber
Lauren Cheney Holiday
Abby Wambach

Also in the majority woman-founded group are Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman, actresses Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria and late-night talk show host Lilly Singh.

Other investors are Williams and her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
 
"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," said  NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird. "Those factors, along with an incredible ownership group make this an ideal situation and we couldn’t be more thrilled to move forward."

The NWSL has nine teams. It will add a 10th team, Racing Louisville FC, in 2021.

The last women's pro team in Los Angeles was the Sol, which won the WPS Shield in the league's first season in 2009 but folded before the start of the 2010 season.

The Sol was co-owned by AEG and played in Carson, at the home of the LA Galaxy.

Trivia: Three players on the Sol are still playing in the NWSL: Stephanie Cox, Marta and McCall Zerboni.
2 comments about "NWSL expansion: Angel City investors attract former USWNT stars".
  1. Grant Goodwin, July 22, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

    Good luck to all of them, but it will be hard for a Los Angeles based women's team to be profitable...with so many other sports occurring there.  It is great that there are so many prominent names becoming a part of this, but unfortuantely club women's soccer in the US has a big hill to climb.  Good luck to them.  Unfortunately as former season ticket holders of the Atlanta Beat...it did not end like we had hoped.

  2. R2 Dad, July 23, 2020 at 2:40 a.m.

    This is a socccer site so it's reasonable to expect that readers understand the appeal of this project. Non-fans seem to focus on the team financials and whether the league competition is high enough. I've found that the match day experience is the metric fans should focus on instead of hardware, winning or other bandwagon mileposts. Can you grab dinner or a drink before the match? Do you get a good crowd on the walk to the stadium a la Seattle ? What's the food like at the stadium? The fan experience will make or break their investment. Good luck, ladies!

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