The new franchise will join Angel City FC as expansion teams beginning play in the 2022 season
The National Women’s Soccer League has announced that San Diego will be home to an expansion team which will begin play in 2022.
The team will be owned by Ron Burkle, who had initially planned to have the team in Sacramento before changing course and moving the franchise to Southern California.
Former U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis will serve as team president, her first role in the game after she stepped away following the USWNT’s successful 2019 World Cup campaign.
What has been said?
“The NWSL continues to grow immensely and bringing women’s professional soccer back to San Diego, an area with a rich soccer history and passionate fan base, will have a deep and positive impact on this community,” Ellis said in a league release.
“I’m incredibly honored to lead this club forward as we prepare for play in this league next year. We aim to become a significant team globally, led by influential women, with the ability to attract the best talent throughout the world.”
NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird added: “San Diego NWSL has all the hallmarks of a successful expansion club: a committed ownership group with the resources required to invest in the success of our league and our players, in a community full of soccer players and fans, in a region that has been underrepresented in our league.
“I can’t wait to watch it all come together.”
The bigger picture
The San Diego franchise, which will announce a name, colors, head coach and stadium venue at a later date, will become the NWSL’s 12th franchise, and second from Southern California to enter next season.
Angel City FC, which will be located just north in Los Angeles, is also set to begin play as an expansion franchise in 2022.
Tuesday’s announcement will be a bitter blow to Sacramento, after Baird announced earlier this year that a new franchise would be located in the California capital.
Baird said at the time that an official confirmation from the NWSL would be forthcoming, but it never arrived.
Burkle had also planned on owning a MLS expansion franchise in Sacramento, but has since pulled out of that project entirely.