Natalie Portman's New Venture: A Women's Soccer Team

She partners with other big names and investors for a team in Los Angeles
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2020 11:50 AM CDT
Natalie Portman's New Venture: A Women's Soccer Team
Actress Natalie Portman is playing a big new role in the launch of a women's soccer team.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

Actress Natalie Portman and venture capitalist Kara Nortman lead a group that will bring an expansion National Women's Soccer League team to the Los Angeles area in 2022, per the AP. The team, tentatively named Angel City, will bring the league to 11 teams. Louisville FC will join the nine current NWSL clubs next season. Portman and Nortman are joined by gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, the cornsortium's president in the majority-female group. Others involved include actors Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Uzo Aduba. Tech entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the husband of tennis star Serena Williams, is the lead investor through his firm Initialized Capital. Portman, Nortman, and Uhrman all have a financial stake in the team.

“I think it’s so important to have role models and and heroes that are women for kids—both boys and girls—to see. And, it’s just such an incredible sport in that it really is a team sport,” Portman said in an interview with the AP. "You see one woman’s success and all the others are cheering her on because one woman’s success is the whole team’s success.” Among the founding group are more than a dozen former players, including Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Julie Foudy, as well as other female business leaders. The NWSL, which began play in 2013, was the first professional team sport to return to action in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Challenge Cup tournament in Utah. The semifinals are set for Wednesday.

(More Natalie Portman stories.)

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