These are busy days for the Angel City team.
The rostering continued on Thursday with the four NWSL Expansion Draft Draft players on Friday, when Canadian defender Vanessa Gilles signed a one-year option contract. and Saturday – NWSL College Project.
The draft begins at 11am and will air live on Paramount + and CBS Sports HQ.
Angel City had no choice in the first round after being sent to Racing Louisville in August in exchange for Kristen Press. On Thursday, the club returned to the first round, sending pick # 26 and $ 125,000 in distribution money to Houston Dash for pick # 6.
According to sports director Eniola Aluko, the process of creating the first squad was challenging but exciting.
“Everyone in the technical field, we all wanted to be part of this organization to build this team,” Aluko said. “I never thought, ‘Oh my God, this is awful.’ The most interesting thing is to try to understand how our team will look like and what kind of players we are going to attract.
“But it is difficult. We’re not a favorite club in the league when we’re trying to pick up team players, but whether it’s us or San Diego, teams don’t want to lose players, so you have to be prepared for tough conversations with opposing players. Grandmasters and trainers “.
The addition of Gilles reinforces an already solid defensive line that included Sarah Gorden, Mary Alice Vignola and Paige Nielsen.
“It was a lot of fun and I am honored to be part of the creation of history,” said Aluko.
South Florida forward Sidney Nasello was ranked sixth in Houston’s rankings before being traded for Top Drawer Soccer. Given that the ACFC already has a deep forward line, the club will be able to secure a spot in midfield with the likes of Savannah DeMelo (USC), Emily Gray (Virginia Tech) and Raleigh Loughman (Michigan) to be in the top 10. …
After selecting # 6, the ACFC is numbered 13, 28, 36 and 39.
Orange County native Dani Weatherholt of OL Reign was the ACFC’s first pick in the NWSL Expansion Draft on Thursday. They also picked hitters Claire Emsley (Orlando) and Jasmine Spencer (Houston) and defender Paige Nielsen (Washington).
Angel City currently has 14 players. Aluko said there will be more participants next week.
“Midfield has been the focus for us in the expansion draft and bringing in someone like Dani (Weatherholt) really provides that and gives us experience in midfield,” Aluko said. “From the very beginning, we want to be dangerous. We want to be a team that keeps them awake at night when teams prepare to meet us. Every striker we recruited can play across the front with a multidimensional character, and we brought in experienced goalkeeper DeDi Kharacic.
“I think we are balanced and we are still working on it. In terms of what else we need, just great players with great character who will help our environment and make us competitive on the pitch. ”
The club also announced that 13,200 season tickets had been sold as of Friday. The ACFC will host its home games at the Banc of California.