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Angel City FC investor Cobi Jones says NWSL team should transcend MLS rivalry

His pitch was simple and powerful.

Wellness Your Way Festival Cincinnati - Day 1 Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival

NWSL expansion team Angel City FC announced Thursday their home from their scheduled launch in 2022 will be Banc of California Stadium.

You may be excited that there’s an NWSL team in LA at all, you may not care, or you may no longer care because the new team will be playing at the LA Galaxy rival’s home. So be it.

It’s worth noting that Angel City is trying to be a bridge between the MLS clubs, and the Galaxy congratulated Angel City on their announcement publicly.

Furthermore, Galaxy legend Cobi Jones is now a member of the large investment group, and at a press conference Thursday, gave a pretty compelling speech from a dyed-in-the-wool Galaxy perspective. And his message? Don’t get wrapped up in El Trafico when launching the first women’s top flight pro team in the city in over a decade.

Jones only spoke for a couple minutes, so here’s the full speech he gave about Angel City FC:

“I know there’s probably a few people out there kind of giving me a little side-eye, you know with me being here. But this isn’t about me. This isn’t about a team that I played for before, a team that I haven’t played for. This is about Angel City FC, and its new home. And this is a gorgeous venue, Bank of California Stadium, for this team and it’s an inspiration for the future.

“What this is really about as well, this is about the fans. This is about all the fans that wanted an NWSL team here in Los Angeles. This is about the different supporter groups that have already been established for Angel City. This is about the individuals that are out there that will eventually be supporters of Angel City FC, and I’m excited, being part of that ownership group that I can say that I was a part of this, that I can look forward to the continued growth into the future.

“This is also about the strides that we are seeing that are going through the women’s game. Not only women’s sports but women playing soccer and especially here in Los Angeles. This is also about another important part, the growth of soccer in general. This is what we all want to see. We want to see soccer continue to grow and Angel City FC is continuing to allow that to happen here in Los Angeles and I’m excited for this team.

“And what all LA teams bring, and that is leadership within the community, leadership within sports, beacons around the world. That’s right, not only in Los Angeles but a beacon around the world. So for all the little boys, yes, and the little girls out there, they can look to Angel City FC, and be proud of what they’re accomplishing. This is something special and I hope that you all out there will be excited and be willing to join me no matter where, wherever you are, not just in Los Angeles, it’s gonna be around the whole United States and around the world. Join me in being a fan of this club.”

Again, no one can make you become a fan of this team if you don’t want to. But Cobi is right. This isn’t about El Trafico. It’s about finding a new community, one that will be mixed with Galaxy and LAFC fans, yes, but will also include a bunch more people who don’t care at all about MLS, and it’s going to be cool. This is the start of something that can be really big, and show that women’s pro soccer in Los Angeles can be popular and sustainable.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.