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Angel City owner and actress Portman opens up on desire to shift soccer culture

18:03 GMT 18/03/2022
Portman Angel City 2022
The Academy Award-winning actress is part of the NWSL expansion team's ownership group, and hopes they can facilitate a cultural shift within the game

Angel City FC owner Natalie Portman says that she hopes the club can help achieve a dream to "shift culture" among the women's game to draw it level with men's football around the world.

The NWSL expansion side, owned by a group headed in part by the Academy Award-winning actress alongside several other Hollywood and sporting stalwarts, are hoping to leave their mark in their maiden season.

Ahead of their curtain-raising campaign, Portman now has outlined how she came to be involved - and what she hopes the club can deliver.

What has been said?

"[I watched] my son idolize players like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan the same way he did Lionel Messi or Karim Benzema," Portman told the Guardian.

"[It made me realise] that amplifying female athletes could rapidly shift culture.

“Our dream is to make women’s soccer as valued as male soccer is throughout the world."

When will Angel City play their first game?

The expansion club will begin their new era when they play their maiden match against San Diego Wave FC in this weekend's NWSL Challenge Cup.

They make up the West Division alongside the Wave, plus OL Reign and Portland Thorns, who are the defending champions.

Angel City will then kick off their regular season slate against North Carolina Courage on April 29, at Banc of California Stadium, unless one of the two makes it to the Challenge Cup final.

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