Natalie Portman and Fellow Celebs Are Bringing Women’s Soccer to Los Angeles
Remember good news?
Now, more than ever, good news is increasingly hard to come by. So you can imagine my delight when I heard that my hometown of Los Angeles is getting our very own National Women’s Soccer League team! The as-yet untitled LA expansion team is set to debut in spring of 2022, joining the current nine teams in the league (Racing Louisville FC, the tenth team, will be joining in 2021). The LA team will be the first women’s team in California, with their official name and venue partner to be announced by the end of the year.
The team was sponsored by a group of high profile women led by Queen Padme/Future Thor herself, Natalie Portman. Portman was joined by Upfront Ventures partner Kara Nortman, media entrepreneur and Angel City founder Julie Uhrman, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to secure the expansion rights for the team.
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I’m proud to be in a group including: Kara Nortman, Julie Uhrman, @alexisohanian, @serenawilliams, @uzoaduba, @jessicachastain, @americaferrera, @jennifer.garner, @evalongoria, @lilly, @glennondoyle — plus 14 former @uswnt soccer players, including Mia Hamm and @abbywambach — who have come together to build a team for LA. We can’t wait to bring positive change on and off the field! #LFG @weareangelcity
Portman released a statement saying, “Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group, … 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.”
Uhrman, who has led the charge for a women’s team in LA for over a year, is joined by a star-studded group of founding investors like Serena Williams and her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Lilly Singh, and soccer stars Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Saskia Webber, and more.
Ohanian, who is married to Serena Williams, said in a statement, “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. I’m personally investing on behalf of my family because creating more opportunities in women’s sports is important to my wife and me, and we want to be a part of making a better future for our daughter.”
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Uhrman released a statement saying “We come together with a collective passion for bringing about change, … Change for our players, change for our fans and change for our community. Change that begins today. In addition to announcing the rights to an L.A. NWSL team, we are thrilled to officially announce our partnership with the LA84 Foundation to help us build out our community relations foundation from the very start.”
2022 may feel like a lifetime away, but it gives us something exciting to look forward to. What is this strange feeling I’m feeling right now? Horpiness? Halpimess? I’m not familiar, but I like it.
(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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