Angel City (ACFC) is a dream turned reality.
A women led club backed by prominent celebrities and USWNT legends. A no trade policy that ensures job security. A female coach who the players respect. A sold-out home opener in a 22,000 seat stadium.
Any one of these is a win for women’s soccer. Together they could lead to sustainable change and a NWSL league that rivals or surpasses its European counterparts.
Curious about life at ACFC? The Angel City HBO Max docuseries sheds light on the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of this star-studded team.
Angel City is glitz, glam, and a lot of grind
It’s Jennifer Garner and Glennon Doyle passing out orange slices as self-appointed team moms and it’s training in the peak hours of LA heat because the LA Rams have field priority. It’s thunderous chants of “clap, clap, clap, huh” filling the stadium and your two marquee forwards toping the injured list. It’s chartered flights and it’s last-minute elimination from playoff contention.
It’s a thrilling mix of surreal magic and the unnerving realization that change is hard even with the right people, a deep wallet, and the power of belief.
While what Angel City has accomplished and strives to accomplish down the road seems miraculous, it should have been the norm from the NWSL’s inception.
There will always be growing pains and aspects of growth only money can buy, but safe spaces, listening ears, and belief in the value of women’s soccer cost nothing and from the get-go, not every team in the league could even guarantee that.
Watching the docuseries simultaneously elicits feelings of hope and heartbreak.
Angel City is now the gold standard for every other team to follow. They’ve created an expectation that players can enjoy a profitable career surrounded by people who champion them both on and off the field. But it took 10 years of inferior treatment and an actress with no ties to the sport to bring about this change.
Props to Natalie Portman, but who thought Padmé would be the one to change the US professional soccer landscape?
Now one year, hundreds of investors, and three expertly crafted hours of video footage later, the world is being invited along on Angel City’s momentous journey.