LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Angel City Football Club, which will begin play next year in the National Women’s Soccer League, has hired its first head coach and signed its first player.
The franchise announced Monday that Freya Coombe will coach the team when it begins play in the Banc of California Stadium in the spring of 2022.
Coombe currently coaches NJ/NY Gotham FC, but will join ACFC after this season concludes. This marks the first major hire for ACFC Sporting Director Eniola Aluko.
Coombe played seven years for Reading FC in the Women’s Super League in England before transitioning into coaching.
“I think everyone has been watching the story of Angel City unfold and I have been very impressed with the direction of the club and the core values upon which it is built,” Coombe said in a statement. “When the opportunity to connect with Eni and the team arose, I knew I had to explore it. Leaving NJ/NY Gotham was not an easy decision, but the chance to join ACFC as the head coach of a new team was something I could not pass up.”
The team also announced Monday it traded for 32-year-old L.A. native and U.S. Women’s National Team star Christen Press, marking the first player signing of the fledgling franchise. Sources told the L.A. Times Press’ deal is for $700,000 over three seasons.
ACFC acquired Press in a trade with Racing Louisville FC in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick and $75,000 in allocation money.
The forward has won two World Cup titles with the USWNT during her illustrious career and has played professionally in England, Sweden and the U.S. She is also a two-time Olympian.
The formation of ACFC was first announced in July of 2020. The franchise was founded by several powerful women in sports, entertainment and business, including the likes of Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Uzo Aduba, Sophia Bush, Ilana Kloss, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, Lilly Sigh, Eva Longoria, Candace Parker, Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach, Kara Nortman and Julie Uhrman. Also involved are Reddit-founder Alexis Ohanian and The Late Late Show host James Cordon.