SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The National Women’s Soccer League has announced that the Bay Area is on track to be awarded an expansion team in 2024. The team, which has yet to be named, would be the 14th franchise in the 11-year-old professional women’s soccer league.
Four former U.S. Women’s National Team players have been brought in to help develop the team. Former USWNT players Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner will also be the public faces of the team. The players, who are being called the club’s “Founding Football Four,” will reportedly represent the club’s majority women board and have an input into the team’s strategic direction.
The ex-players will be working in partnership with majority investor, Sixth Street, a global investment firm with previous experience investing in international soccer powerhouses Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Domestically, the group also has ties to the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.
“We want to thank Commissioner Berman and the NWSL Board for their endorsement and their partnership throughout this process,” said Alan Waxman, Co-Chair of the Club and Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Street in a press release posted to the NWSL’s website. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with this legendary group, who are lifelong role models to a generation of women, and we look forward to working with them to build a championship franchise on and off the field. We believe that many years from now we will look back at today as a landmark moment in Bay Area sports history, and a turning point for large-scale investment in women’s sports.”
“We appreciate each and every one of the thousands of people who have supported us through this process and helped us reach this important day, and to Sixth Street for stepping up to take this club to the next level,” said Aly Wagner, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Club, Santa Clara ’02, two-time Olympic gold medalist, NCAA National Champion, and the first woman broadcaster to call a FIFA Men’s World Cup match. “As lifelong residents of the Bay Area, we know how important women’s soccer is to our region and we are going to work hard every day to ensure that this is a club that every player, supporter, and partner will be proud of. We can’t wait to get started.”
The announcement of the Bay Area team follows the recent announcement of the Utah Royals as the league’s 13th team. There is no word yet on where in the Bay Area the new team will play.