LA's New Women's Soccer Club Includes a Star-Studded Roster of Mostly Female Founders
Leslie Ignacio is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is a recent California State University, Northridge graduate and previously worked for El Nuevo Sol, Telemundo and NBC and was named a Chips Quinn Scholar in 2019. As a bilingual journalist, she focuses on covering diversity in news. She's a Los Angeles native who enjoys trips to Disneyland in her free time.
Los Angeles will be home to a new professional women's soccer team in the spring of 2022.
Actress and activist Natalie Portman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman, gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian are the forces behind "Angel City," the stand-in title they've given the nascent women's soccer club.
"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 in a press release.
Angel City: Welcome to the Beginning
The time has come to reshape expectations on & off the soccer field. This is the place. The time is now. Welcome… https://t.co/4K8ARuKvSB— We Are Angel City (@We Are Angel City)1595334660.0
The team will choose a name later this year, but already fans are cheering the prospect of a majority women-founded women's soccer team.
"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 founding investor Alexis Ohanian.
Celebrities including Serena Williams and daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.; actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria; late night talk show host Lilly Singh; former U.S. Women's National Team players and many others have joined in on the investment to bring equal access to sports.
Angel City has also partnered up with the LA84 Foundation and supports the Play Equity Fund, a nonprofit committed to making sure every kid across Los Angeles has the opportunity to experience the power of sports.
"In 2014, we established the Play Equity Fund, the only nonprofit focused on Play Equity as a social justice issue. The Play Equity Fund is committed to driving access to sports for underserved communities, including communities of color, girls, the physically challenged and developmentally disabled. We couldn't be more excited to partner with this incredible group of women upon the launch of their new undertaking. They are dedicated to making a positive impact for those who need it most," said Renata Simril, president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation.
"Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base. We also hope to make a substantive impact on our community, committing to extending access to sports for young people in Los Angeles through our relationship with the LA84 Foundation. Sports are such a joyful way to bring people together, and this has the power to make tangible change for female athletes both in our community and in the professional sphere," said Portman.
Teams like the Los Angeles Football Club and L.A. Galaxy have already proven that Los Angeles is home to a large number of soccer fans. The introduction of a women's soccer team will allow young girls to have role models in a local professional team, L.A.'s mayor wrote in a statement.
"Today, I'm very proud to welcome the Angel City women's soccer team to the best sports town in America, and when they take the field in 2022, a generation of young girls and women from our community will be able to see themselves playing at the highest level of their sport."
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Photo by Tami Abdollah
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