Natalie Portman Is Helping Bring a Professional Women’s Soccer Team to Los Angeles

Niwandinda Daniel
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She is part of the ownership group which also includes Jennifer Garner, Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, and Abby Wambach. 

Natalie Portman just added a new line to her résumé: professional sports team owner. 

It was announced today (July 21) that an ownership group, which includes Portman, has secured the rights to bring a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team to Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, other co-owners include fellow actors Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, and Uzo Aduba; soccer stars Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Rachel Buehler, and Tisha Venturini-Hoch; and Reddit cofounder and Mr. Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian

“We wanted to make sure that we brought in incredible partners who were from the soccer world, who are leaders in sport, in tech and business and entertainment because that’s really so much what our city is about. Each of us has our special ability to bring to the team,” Portman, who has apparently been working on the project since last year’s World Cup, told the paper. “It just seems like it was ideal to bring [women’s] soccer to L.A. because we have such passionate fans here, such robust youth soccer. It’s just an incredible kind of culture shift if we can bring more attention and light and celebration of these incredible athletes.”

Portman shared a throwback photo of her with her now co-owners at a game last year earlier this week on Instagram. 

This is a huge step for women’s soccer, whose players have a long history of fighting for equality. Establishing a women’s soccer league took years, and to see it grow, especially in the midst of a worldwide sports shutdown, is an important milestone that proves the appetite for women’s teams is very much alive and well. Louisville, Kentucky, will also be welcoming a new women’s NWSL team, which is scheduled to start playing next spring. 

“L.A. is a city that has a fanatical sports fan base. And obviously, we’ve shown that we have the ability to support multiple teams and multiple different leagues,” said media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, who is also one of the principle partners. “By bringing together this unique group of people, we actually have this ability to engage and promote and not only support the best players, but also grow the league by putting a spotlight on it and hopefully igniting a fire here that will touch other places.”

The new team is tentatively being called Angel City. They hope to have a permanent name and venue announced by the end of the year, according to the LAT, and will begin playing in 2022 between two of the biggest events in sports: the Olympics and the Women’s World Cup. 

We can’t wait to watch them play. 

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