NWSL Announces San Diego Expansion Franchise With Jill Ellis Calling the Shots

The team will begin play in 2022 with the two-time World Cup winning coach serving as Team President.

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The NWSL is coming to town, with a major figure in the game leading the charge.

News of San Diego's addition for the 2022 season became official Tuesday morning, with former United State Women's National Team head coach Jill Ellis serving as Team President. Ellis guided the U.S. to World Cup wins in 2015 and 2019.

San Diego will enter the league with a natural rival, joining Angel City FC of Los Angeles as expansion teams.

According to multiple reports the franchise is owned by Ron Burkle. Burkle backed Sacramento's bid for an MLS team before stepping away from the project in February. Burkle paid expansion fees for an NWSL club originally set to play in Sacramento, before changing course and setting his focus on San Diego.

Ellis could have continued her coaching career, but instead opted for a leadership role in San Diego.

"This presented an opportunity to stay connected to something I absolutely love, but also influence the game in a different way and perhaps in a more significant way in terms of the hires I can make."

According to The Athletic Casey Stoney, former manager of Manchester United's women's team, is in final stages of discussions to become San Diego's first head coach.

Ellis' club plans to begin play at USD's Torero Stadium, but hopes to secure a permanent home that seats more than 10,000 fans.

San Diego and Angels City will bring the NWSL to 12 teams. Two other teams are located on the West Coast: Portland Thorns FC and Tacoma's OL Reign. The NWSL began play in 2013. Its regular season begins in May and runs through October.

The league has generated attention and excitement due in part to the presence of USWNT stars. This season that list includes Julie Ertz (Chicago), Mallory Pugh (Chicago), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando), Alex Morgan (Orlando), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign), and Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC).

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