NWSL Confirms San Diego Expansion Team With Former USWNT Boss Ellis As President
The National Women’s Soccer League has announced that San Diego will host an expansion squad that will begin playing in 2022.
The team will be owned by Ron Burkle, who originally planned to have the NWSL team in Sacramento before changing course and moving it to Southern California.
Former United States Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis will take over as team president, her first role in the game following her departure following the successful USWNT campaign for the 2019 World Cup.
Why the NWSL chose San Diego
“The NWSL continues to grow tremendously and bringing professional women’s football back to San Diego, an area with a rich football history and passionate fan base, will have a profound and positive impact on this community,” said Ellis (pictured here). below) in a league. Release.
“I am incredibly honored to lead this club forward as we prepare to play in this league next year. We aim to become a globally significant team, led by influential women, with the ability to attract the best talent around the world. “
NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird added, “The NWSL San Diego has all the hallmarks of a successful expansion club: a committed ownership group with the resources to invest in the success of our league and our players, in a community full of football players and fans, in an under-represented region in our league.
“I can’t wait to see it all fall into place.”
The bigger picture
The San Diego franchise, which will announce a name, colors, head coach and stadium at a later date, will become the 12th franchise in the NWSL and the second from Southern California to enter next season.
Angel City FC, which will be located just north of Los Angeles, is also expected to start playing as an expansion franchise in 2022.
Tuesday’s announcement will be a big blow to Sacramento, after Baird announced earlier this year that a new franchise will 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 to own an MLS expansion franchise in Sacramento, but has since pulled out of that project entirely in February 2021.
Launch of a new women’s league
The announcement comes on the same day the United Soccer League (USL) announced a relaunch of the USL W League, which will begin playing in May 2022 with a crowned champion in July.
The press release announcing the W League, which existed in a previous iteration from 1995 to 2015, said plans were underway for up to 30 teams for the 2022 season.
The W League will be a pre-professional league with players retaining amateur status.