The Bay Area will soon be home to a new professional women’s soccer team.
Former U.S. Women’s National Team players Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner announced Tuesday that the National Women’s Soccer League has awarded expansion rights to their group. The team, which has not yet announced a name or home stadium, will start playing in the league in 2024.
The four soccer stars, who all have Bay Area ties including each hailing from Santa Clara University, spoke Tuesday about their efforts to bring a pro women’s team to the region starting nearly three years ago following the announcement of another NWSL expansion team, Angel City Football Club in Los Angeles.
We here in the Bay Area are innovators, we’re thinkers, we’re creators. The Bay is where champions come to play, that is our call to action.– Brandi Chastain
“LA is doing this, why aren’t we doing it?” Osborne said the women were asking themselves as the group got to work to bring a team to the Bay Area.
The new team’s majority investor is Sixth Street, an investment firm with stakes in European soccer clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona as well as the pro basketball team the San Antonio Spurs.
Chastain, who scored an iconic game-winning goal in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final for the U.S. over China, said “it is a different time” now in women’s sports compared to her playing days, citing the high ratings and interest for the recent NCAA women’s college basketball championship. She said the Bay Area is the perfect place to help the sport grow even more.
“We here in the Bay Area are innovators, we’re thinkers, we’re creators,” Chastain said. “The Bay is where champions come to play, that is our call to action.”
Other members of the team’s board include Sheryl Sandberg, tech executive and founder of LeanIn.org, Rick Welts, who most recently served as president of the Golden State Warriors, and Staci Slaughter, former executive vice president for the San Francisco Giants.
More details about the team can be found on its website at https://nwsltothebay.com/.