Natalie Portman, Serena Williams and Others Bring Professional Female Soccer Team to LA
Soccer fans, get ready: A brand new women’s soccer team is coming to Los Angeles, courtesy of Natalie Portman, and a slew of other celebrities.
On Tuesday, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced that a group led by Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian will bring a “professional women’s soccer team to Los Angeles to kick off in Spring 2022.”
An official name for the team has yet to be announced, but it's currently being referred to as “WFC LA / Angel City.”
Alongside Portman, Nortman, Uhrman, and Ohanian, the group includes Hollywood heavyweights such as Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Lilly Singh, and Uzo Aduba. More than a dozen former women’s soccer players — such as Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach — have also invested. Notably, Ohanian’s tennis-star wife, Serena Williams, and their 2-year-old daughter, Alexia Ohanian Jr., are investing, too.
Portman told People that she got involved with NWSL after going to games herself and realizing “it wasn't getting the celebration it deserved.”
"We just started thinking about, what if there was a team in L.A.? We're the center of entertainment in this country for media," Portman told the publication. "What can we do to change the way people are paying attention to this sport? Obviously, the players themselves have been incredible and have brought so much attention, but everything hasn't always followed their success and their popularity."
Portman told People about a study that found women’s sports teams only receive 4 percent of sports media coverage. She's hoping to change that with Angel City.
In that same vein, Urhman wrote in an open letter on Angel City’s new website that there are “nine professional teams and NCAA powerhouses USC and UCLA” already existing in Los Angeles so “isn't it high time that we also have a women's soccer team to rally behind?”
“Our city deserves better,” she writes. "Sports fans deserve better. Players deserve better. And together, we will build something truly unique."
It seems Angel City already has quite a few supporters: