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Angel City Foot Club team members share a moment during a game in Los Angeles. (Photo: Courtesy of Angel City Football Club)

Angel City Football Club Extends Contract with California Lutheran University

National Women’s Soccer League team has practiced at Cal Lutheran since 2022

The Angel City Football Club (ACFC) extended its contract with California Lutheran University as the team’s training site for the National Women’s Soccer League team.

The team has practiced at Cal Lutheran since it was founded in 2022. The new two-year agreement, with a possible one-year extension, enables ACFC to continue training at North Field and use the facilities within William Rolland Stadium and Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center.

“The Angel City football team includes athletes who are top in their sport,” said Cal Lutheran President Lori E. Varlotta. “As such, the entire club serves as a role model for our own student-athletes and all others who strive to be and do the very best in their life and their career. We are proud to have a continued partnership with the team and appreciate being able to support professional women’s soccer.”

ACFC players and executives share their knowledge of professional sports with students at Cal Lutheran through various forums as part of their residency agreement. The club — named a “Brand That Matters” by Fast Company in 2023 — provides internships to students at Cal Lutheran, which offers a bachelor’s degree in sports management and is adding a master’s degree in fall 2024. The organization’s staff members guest lecture in classes, and club members participate in talks with coaches and student-athletes.

In April, Angel City executives participated in a panel discussion for students and the community at Cal Lutheran on the topic of women and the business of sports. ACFC also celebrated Cal Lutheran’s women’s soccer team at BMO Stadium for its recent NCAA Division III championship. During the contract period, the club’s leadership will again hold an entrepreneurial workshop for students and staff at Angel City’s Los Angeles headquarters.

ACFC is the first majority female-founded, female-owned and female-run sports team in professional sports. The team’s founders are Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman and media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman.

Cal Lutheran alumna Alex Mallen ’06 is ACFC’s director of corporate partnerships, and Public Relations Manager Kevin Rider is an adjunct faculty member in Cal Lutheran’s Sports Management program.

Cal Lutheran has a long history of partnering with elite athletic teams. The university was home to the Los Angeles Rams training facility from 2016 to 2023, and it hosted the Dallas Cowboys training camp for 26 years. The 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s water polo teams trained at Cal Lutheran’s Samuelson Aquatics Center.