U.S. women’s national team star Christen Press became the first signing in club history for NWSL expansion club Angel City FC, which launches in 2022.
Angel Cityto sign Press from Racing Louisville via trade in exchange for $75,000 in allocation money and roster protection from Angel City in the 2021 expansion draft. Angel City will refrain from selecting a Racing Louisville player in that draft.
The club officially announced her acquisition in the hours after the trade:
Outside of her USWNT exploits and a 2021 Olympic bronze medal, the 32-year-old Press most recently played for Manchester United and became a free agent after her one-year deal with the English club expired in June. She was born in LA, grew up in the city and now becomes the face of the club.
“My family and friends, they have followed me all over the world,”, which first reported the news. “So to be able to come and play in front of them week in and week out … just to see them in the stands and know that I’ve come home, for me full circle.”
“…sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed it is for two seasons with a third-year option which, if exercised, will bring the value of the deal to approximately $550,000, making Press one of the highest-paid players in league history.”
— Elisabeth Schendel (@lis_ashlee)
The news came on the same day that the club announced its first head coach, Freya Coombe, who is currently the head coach of NJ/NY Gotham FC in the NWSL.
The NWSL confirmed that Los Angeles would have an expansion team in July 2020 and months later the Angel City name and marks were revealed.
The club is led by an ownership group that includes USWNT legend Mia Hamm, her husband Nomar Garciaparra, actress Natalie Portman and tennis player Serena Williams, along with a host of other big names.
Press will be the star of Angel City’s forward line and the club will be counting on her to deliver goals. She has scored 64 goals in 155 career appearances for the USWNT and in six NWSL seasons with Chicago Red Stars and the Utah Royals she ammassed 45 goals in 85 appearances.