Portland Thorns

NWSL announces Los Angeles expansion for 2022

Portland Thorns
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Women’s soccer continues to rise in popularity, talent and support in the United States.

It may have something to do with the US Women’s National Team dominating world tournament after world tournament but that support has trickled down to the NWSL as well. 

[RELATED]: Portland Thorns FC season opener attracts record television audience

Speaking of the USWNT, arguably the G.O.A.T. of women’s soccer Mia Hamm, teased a huge announcement on Monday night that had us all playing detective.

 

 

What could the 48-year-old soccer prodigy, two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion (1991, 1999) be alluding to? 

We got our answer on Tuesday morning when the NWSL made an announcement that sent ripples through the soccer world.

 

 

Hamm not only teased the announcement, but she is a part the large group of in investors the includes 13 fellow former USWNT members

According to the official press release, "the founding investor group includes Serena Williams and daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., actors Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria, late night talk show host Lilly Singh, former US Women’s National Team players including twelve representing Southern California 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, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA World Cup Champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach, author and activist Glennon Doyle, Netflix VP Original Content Cindy Holland, tech entrepreneur and filmmaker Casey Neistat, Founding Board Member of Baby2Baby, Sabina Nathanson, Media Executive David Nathanson, Baby2Baby Co-President Norah Weinstein, and Bad Robot President and COO Brian Weinstein."

 

[You can read the entire NWSL press release HERE]

How does the expansion impact the Portland Thorns and OL Reign? Well, a lot.

It started back in August 2019 when Portland Thorns and Timbers FC owner Merritt Paulson announced that the league would add two more teams in 2020 and a third in 2021.

“We’ve had multiple expansion groups in Portland for the last couple games,” said Paulson, who is a chief player in the NWSL’s small expansion committee. “We’ve got commitments from teams for 2020 and for 2021. We’re going to stabilize this league and we’re going to grow it.”

In December 2019, Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer reported that Louisville is the confirmed expansion team in 2021.

Now that Los Angeles has “entered the chat”, the league has expanded to 10 teams.