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NWSL expansion team launching in San Diego in 2022

More women’s top flight soccer coming to California.

Courtesy of San Diego NWSL

Now there will be two California NWSL expansion teams coming in 2022.

San Diego NWSL announced their arrival on Tuesday, with two-time World Cup winner Jill Ellis appointed as president of the new club.

The San Diego team will be owned by Ron Burkle, who also owns the Pittsburgh Penguins, among other ventures, with his associate Matt Alvarez to help run day-to-day operations.

“San Diego is filled with an unwavering and fervent fanbase with a wide interest in soccer,” said Burkle in a statement announcing the new club. “We are thrilled to bring women’s professional soccer to San Diego and believe this club will be deeply embedded in this community. We believe in Jill and will provide the necessary investment to build a club that all of San Diego will be proud to support. Jill’s expertise and history within the sport is unrivaled and we are incredibly excited to continue to work with Commissioner Baird to bring a world-class team to San Diego as we continue to grow the sport and women’s soccer.”

This club was originally announced to be headed to Sacramento in January by NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird, but following the collapse of Sacramento’s MLS expansion bid, after Burkle pulled out as the lead investor, he apparently lobbied the league in recent months to move the club to San Diego. For the time being, San Diego NWSL will plan to play at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego, with possible plans to build a future stadium or play at another venue in the future.

Ellis and the release about the new team say the new team’s official name, crest and colors, GM, coach and initial signings will be coming starting in a matter of weeks. And now, there will be a bonafide Southern California rivalry in NWSL, with San Diego NWSL joining Los Angeles-based Angel City FC in 2022. Bring it on.

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