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NWSL expands to Bay Space: Ex-USWNTers Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner lead bid

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The Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League is formally set to have 14 groups for the 2024 season. The league introduced on Tuesday that it has awarded an growth membership to the Bay Space, California for subsequent 12 months. The northern California membership would be the third California staff added to the league in simply two years. The growth bid is backed by main international funding agency Sixth Avenue and comes with a record-breaking charge of $53 million. 

The growth information comes simply weeks after the announcement of Utah Royals because the league’s thirteenth staff.  The arrival of the 2 new groups will practically double the league’s dimension from its inaugural season which fielded simply eight groups in 2013. It is the second consecutive wave of growth to function two incoming groups since Los Angeles and San Diego each joined the league in 2022.

“The variety of bids and the rise within the league’s growth charges are indicative of each the demand that exists for girls’s soccer within the skilled sports activities panorama and the validated development trajectory of our league,” mentioned NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. 

“We mentioned in the beginning of the growth course of in July 2022 that we might be intentional in in search of out robust markets and possession teams that not solely had the structural integrity for our league to thrive but in addition demonstrated a real dedication to investing in and creating first-rate organizations on and off the pitch. I’m assured that this possession group and the market will assist us ship on the league’s continued transformative development and success and sit up for watching the Bay Space membership kick off in 2024.”

The possession group

Majority investor Sixth Avenue is an funding agency with in depth illustration in sports activities that features investments with Actual Madrid, FC Barcelona, and the San Antonio Spurs. The agency has further partnerships with New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys by its majority funding in Legends, a worldwide sports activities and dwell venue expertise enterprise.

Alan Waxman is Co-Chair of the membership and Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Avenue in partnership with former U.S. girls’s nationwide staff gamers Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner, and two-time World Cup champion Brandi Chastain. Sheryl Sandberg, the founding father of Lean In.Org, joins as a strategic investor and can serve on the membership’s board, which may also embrace four-time NBA and two-time WNBA Champion govt Rick Welts.

Waxman will serve on the NWSL’s board of governors and Wagner will function the choice governor. Waxman and Wagner will co-chair the membership’s board. The board may also embrace Staci Slaughter, former govt vp and senior advisor to the CEO of the three-time World Sequence Champion San Francisco Giants.

“We admire each one of many 1000’s of people that have supported us by this course of and helped us attain this essential day, and to Sixth Avenue for stepping as much as take this membership to the subsequent degree,” mentioned Wagner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, NCAA Nationwide Champion, and the primary lady broadcaster to name a FIFA Males’s World Cup match. 

“As lifelong residents of the Bay Space, we all know how essential girls’s soccer is to our area and we’re going to work exhausting daily to make sure that it is a membership that each participant, supporter, and accomplice will likely be pleased with. We won’t wait to get began.”

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Former gamers lead cost for Bay Space staff

The final time a girl’s home professional soccer league was in northern California was through the WUSA period that folded in 2003. The San Jose CyberRays have been WUSA champions after they defeated the Atlanta Beat in 2001 and gained the Founders Cup through the league’s inaugural season.

The initiative to deliver NWSL to again the Bay started three years in the past with the 4 associates and former USWNT gamers. All 4 gamers have deep ties to the world as Santa Clara alums, and Chastain, Wagner, and Slaton are a trio of San Jose natives.

“The Bay Space is the place this all started,” mentioned Chastain, two-time FIFA World Cup champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist. “We’re as enthusiastic about what this membership will obtain on the sector of play as we’re for what it’ll characterize for generations of girls athletes and professionals but to return. We sit up for the Bay followers embracing our staff and celebrating the aggressive spirit and expertise we are going to put onto the sector to proceed the robust Bay custom of taking part in to win championships.”

Slaton is an NCAA Nationwide Champion, Olympic silver medalist, 2003 USWNT World Cup defender, and Chair of the U.S. Soccer Yates Implementation Committee.

“That is one thing we have been engaged on for nearly three years, and to achieve this level and formally be accepted into the NWSL is each a dream come true and a motivator as a result of now it is time to begin constructing,” mentioned Slaton, “We’re grateful, keen, and humbled by the possibility to play an lively position in shaping this league and main our sport in the direction of a brighter way forward for lasting development and alter.” 

What’s subsequent

The NWSL is formally returning to the Bay and the franchise will announce a membership title, crest, and colours sooner or later. The membership additionally introduced a future venture to construct a state-of-the-art coaching venue at a “to-be-announced location.” The previous CyberRays performed at San Jose State College facility “Spartan Stadium,” now often called CEFCU Stadium, however no confirmed location has been named for the NWSL staff at the moment.

The 2023 NWSL common season started on March 25 and can conclude with the 2023 NWSL Championship ultimate on November 11. The growth draft will happen within the offseason and particulars on guidelines and processes will likely be introduced at a later date.



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