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NWSL Announces New Team Coming To L.A. In 2022 With Group Led By Natalie Portman

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced Tuesday that an expansion team has been awarded to a majority women-founded group led by actress Natalie Portman, Kara Nortman and Julie Uhrman which will begin play in the spring of 2022 in Los Angeles.

The team's official name and home venue will be announced later this year but for now, the group has named itself Angel City in honor of its planned home.

"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," Founder Kara Nortman said in a statement.

The L.A. team will become the league's fifth expansion team, following the announcement of Racing Louisville FC joining in the 2021 season. Commissioner Lisa Baird said Tuesday that while the expansion of the league continues to excite, the most important factor was finding the right partners for expansion. The commissioner believes the league has done so with this ownership group in L.A.

"The growth trajectory of the NWSL is incredibly exciting, but we also need to be strategic and thoughtful about how fast we expand and the communities we partner with," NWSL Commissioner Baird said in a statement. "We've long sought the right partner in LA considering the NWSL fanbase that already exists in the region and the massive interest in women's soccer in general. Those factors, along with an incredible ownership group make this an ideal situation and we couldn't be more thrilled to move forward."

Joining the aforementioned women in the ownership group is venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams and the couple's daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., and actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria.

In addition, a large group of former U.S. Women's National Team members are involved in the outfit including Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Lauren Holiday, Abby Wambach and nine others.

"Today we take an exciting step by announcing the first women majority-owned and led ownership group," Founder Natalie 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. Together, we aim to build not only a winning team on the field, but also to develop a passionately loyal fan base"

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