September 27, 2020
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Story tips, concerns, questions?

A 2018 NWSL regular season game between the Washington Spirit and the Orlando Pride. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

By Iracema Navarro, Political Editor

A team is coming to Southern California to compete in the National Women’s Soccer League for the 2022 season. The announcement was made on July 21 on the NWSL website, welcoming Angel City.

Since I can remember whenever the U.S. women’s national soccer team played in the Home Depot Center, StubHub Center, or Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, I was there. I was there cheering, screaming, holding back tears, letting go of tears, and always questioning why there isn’t a professional women’s soccer team in Los Angeles or Southern California.

And I believed I always had a good point in asking this question when there are two baseball teams, two hockey teams, one female basketball team, and now two football teams, two men soccer teams, and two men’s basketball teams in Southern California.

A question I have asked many times and always was answered, mostly by men, that Southern California did have a team in Sol. But no one remembers Sol because the team played one season in 2010 in the Women’s Professional Soccer league that lasted only three seasons.

And with the arrival of Angel City, that’s all changed now.

The team will be backed by a loaded ownership group of over 30 members with a majority of women. In the group are 14 former U.S. women national team players including Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, Hollywood actor Natalie Portman, tennis star Serena Williams and two-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., led by the ownership group’s president Julie Uhrman.

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to partner with this incredible group of people to bring a professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles. 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 founder Natalie Portman on the NWSL announcement.

The news is historical not only for Los Angeles but for the league and the nation. Angel City will join the NWSL and its current nine teams as well as the tenth team joining in 2021, Louisville, in helping build more potential for women’s soccer in the U.S. Although the U.S. women’s national team is number one in the world according to FIFA, having won four World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals, showing a higher performance compared to male players, they are continuing the fight for equal pay, a fight that began in March 2019.

With the addition of a team to the league, the more opportunities there will be more for women soccer players in colleges, high schools, and clubs. But the most important thing Angel City is bringing for all in the state of California is hope for young girls and boys for an equal future.

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