CPP women’s soccer react to a majority woman-founded NWSL expansion team

During the summer, the National Women’s Soccer League announced that it was bringing a professional women’s soccer team, named “Angel City,” to Los Angeles starting in spring 2022 much to the excitement of CPP women’s soccer players.

Led by a majority woman-founded group, the organization aims to inspire women and further dialogue on those that have negatively impacted women’s sports as well as highlight issues in both social justice and gender equity in sports.

Jessica Llamas, a junior midfielder, discussed the magnitude of having a professional women’s soccer organization be founded mostly by women and what it means to her.

“Obviously, being women, we’re going to stand with the women so it’s just nice to completely support it knowing that it’s mainly women-based and run,” said Llamas.

News of the NWSL announcement brought back childhood memories for some members of the CPP women’s soccer team and provided hope for young girls to have more opportunities when it comes to sports.

“Growing up, at least like a lot of the clubs in Orange County and L.A. area, we all went to the LA Galaxy games and you did the same thing: you all wore your team jerseys, you got to walk on the field and it was only that team pretty much, just the men’s LA Galaxy team,” said Jazmin Duran, a junior midfielder. “To get to do that with Angel City, it’ll just be a lot cooler and the fact that it’s the first women’s team, it’s just going to be a lot bigger for LA.”

Junior midfielder Jazmin Duran hurdles over a defender in a clash against San Francisco State University. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

The salary gap between men and women still exist today, even for those competing with the national sports teams.

According to a Sporting News 2019 study and a lawsuit filed against U.S. Soccer, players on the U.S. women’s national team make significantly less than those on the U.S. men’s national team, earning about $4,950 per game to the men’s $13,166.

For senior midfielder Allison Hung, the prospects of women starting to have more opportunities when it comes to professional sports is exciting to see.

“Most student-athletes that go onto college whether it’s D1 or D2, most female athletes don’t want to go professional after their college career is done,” said Hung. “Even if they’re good enough to go professional, that’s not their first thought that they want to do, so I think the more opportunities that there are can make people think that this can actually be a full time job.”

The owners of Angel City have established a relationship with the LA84 Foundation to form nonprofit organizations such as The Play Equity fund, which is designed to help kids in Los Angeles be more active in sports, especially those in the smaller communities.

Taylor Scott, a senior forward, shared her thoughts on these efforts. “People look up to these athletes and so if they hear an athlete supporting something then more people would want to support them if that makes sense,” said Scott.

Senior forward Taylor Scott on the attack in a game against San Francisco State University. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

The fact that there has not been a NWSL team based in Los Angeles since the league’s formation in 2012 was puzzling to some.

“It was kind of weird once the NWSL was established that there wasn’t a team in California just because soccer is probably the most well-known when it comes to clubs, high school and college as well… but I’m just happy that it’s finally here,” Hung said.

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