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Angel City partners with Tigres Femenil for first NWSL partnership with Liga MX

Angel City forward Christen Press, left, celebrates with midfielder Savannah McCaskill after scoring against Kansas City on May 21. Angel City will play in two friendlies with Tigres Femenil this year as part of a new partnership with the team.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Angel City is just four games into its first NWSL regular season, but the team already is making history. On Tuesday, it will announce a two-year partnership with Tigres Femenil of Mexico’s Liga MX, the first cross-border relationship of its kind between clubs in North America’s two biggest women’s soccer leagues.

The partnership will include two friendlies, the first at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Aug. 10 and the second in Monterrey, Mexico, next season. The organizations also will cooperate in other endeavors, engaging ideas on best practices in sport and on issues of business and social responsibility. A major focus of the partnership, Angel City said, is community-impact events featuring fans, civic organizations and soccer clubs in the two cities.

Angel City FC didn’t score in its NWSL match Saturday night, but an own goal by the Kansas City Current was the difference in a 1-0 win for the hosts.

“We think about two things: the community and our players,” Angel City president Julie Uhrman said. “We want our players to play the best clubs in the league and show that Angel City is one of the best teams in the world. And we want to play games that our fans and our communities are going to really love.

“We think there’s an overlap between us and Tigres. And it’ll just be an incredible experience, something that hasn’t happened for women’s soccer in a long time.”

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Angel City won’t be the first NWSL club to play a Mexican side; the Houston Dash played exhibitions with Tigres in 2019 and 2021. But the Southern California team is the first to make the game the center of a larger undertaking involving other public events.

“It’s about creating the experience for our fans,” Uhrman said. “Our goal is to put an entire weekend of activations around it to really elevate the sport. Angel City plays a role in the global world of soccer, and we want more people to pay attention and to lean in.

“We think the two of us playing, friends off the pitch and maybe more competitors on the pitch, is good for the sport and good for our fans.”

Amanda Cromwell, a one-time investor in Angel City and the former UCLA women’s soccer coach, guides the Orlando Pride to a 1-0 win over Angel City.

Uhrman said Angel City has been talking to Tigres about multiple initiatives over the last several months. The Mexican team, in its sixth season, is already iconic at home, having won four league championships while finishing atop the regular-season standings four times.

In 2018, it played before a record crowd of 51,211 in Monterrey in the second leg of the Clausura playoff final.

“It is an honor to make this alliance with Angel City, a young franchise with a huge push,” Tigres president Mauricio Culebro said in a statement. “We have found similar objectives in the search to continue promoting women’s football. We want to turn Tigres Femenil into one of the most renowned teams at an international level, and this type of alliance allows us to get closer to that goal.”

Tickets for the Aug. 10 game in Los Angeles will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT at angelcity.com.


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