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Natalie Portman 2018
Photograph: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

A National Women’s Soccer League team is coming to L.A.

And in proper L.A. fashion, Angel City has a star-studded list of backers.

Michael Juliano
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Michael Juliano
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Time to stock up on merch from another pro sports team: The National Women’s Soccer League announced on Tuesday that a professional women’s soccer team will start playing in Los Angeles in spring 2022.

The team doesn’t have an official name yet (expect that and its home venue to be announced before the end of the year), but for now it’s going by Angel City. And though it may just be a placeholder (so too was Los Angeles Football Club for about a year before it became the official name), you can already buy merch with Angel City printed on it.

UPDATE (10/21): The team has announced its official name, Angel City FC.

In proper L.A. fashion, the team has some pretty big names backing it: Natalie Portman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman, entrepreneur Julie Uhrman and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian have led the initiative to secure the rights to the team under the banner of Ohanian’s firm Initialized Capital.

And then there’s a star-studded list of additional investors that includes Serena Williams, Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Lilly Singh; two-time Olympic gold medalists and World Cup champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach; and a dozen former U.S. Women’s National Team players from SoCal, including Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Rachel Buehler, Shannon Boxx, Amanda Cromwell, Lorrie Fair Allen, Ronnie Fair Sullins, Joy Fawcett, Angela Hucles, Shannon MacMillan, Tisha Venturini Hoch and Saskia Webber.

“Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group,” Portman said in a statement. “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.”

Angel City won’t be L.A.’s first women’s pro soccer team, but it’s been awhile: The short-lived Los Angeles Sol played in Carson from 2007 to 2010 as part of the now-defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league.

The news release about the team calls out locals fans for making this all possible, specifically the @NWSL_LA to bring a team to L.A. That same momentum was visible when the U.S. Women’s National Team celebrated their back-to-back World Cup victories in L.A., with a championship rally at L.A. Live in 2015 and an international friendly at the Rose Bowl in 2019.

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