Serena Williams, Natalie Portman Part of Ownership Group for NWSL's LA Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2020

Serena Williams attends her S by Serena fashion show at Spring Place during NYFW Fall/Winter 2020 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Charles Sykes/Associated Press

The National Women's Soccer League announced Tuesday it's planning to add an expansion franchise in Los Angeles that will join the league for the 2022 season. 

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The time has come to reshape expectations on & off the soccer field. This is the place. The time is now. Welcome to the beginning. #WeAreAngelCity https://t.co/M3bvsmiAfm

The team's ownership group includes Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach.

Portman, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Uzo Aduba and Jessica Chastain all attended the United States women's national team's 6-0 defeat of Belgium on April 7, 2019.

U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT

We’ve got a few late roster additions 🤩 https://t.co/0qUYzonLZF

The actresses were showing their support for the USWNT during its equal pay lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, and they've all since signed on to purchase a share of the NWSL ownership group.

In an interview with The Athletic's Meg Linehan, Portman said she met with Kara Nortman, another member of the group, who introduced her to USWNT Players Association director Becca Roux and USWNT players. That helped pique her interest in the cause and spread the message to her colleagues and other potential stakeholders.

The Los Angeles franchise will be the 11th team in the NWSL. The league is set to welcome Racing Louisville FC in 2021, adding to the nine organizations currently in operation.

The NWSL was the first sports league to resume action in the United States during the the COVID-19 pandemic, staging the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup in Utah beginning on June 27.

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