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.
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
, 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
Lorrie Fair Allen
Ronnie Fair Sullins
Tisha Venturini Hoch
Also in the majority woman-founded group are Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman
, actresses Uzo Aduba
, 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.
Three players on the Sol are still playing in the NWSL: Stephanie Cox
and McCall Zerboni