Angel City FC: Breaking Barriers In The National Women's Soccer League

Angel City docu-series poster.

Follow the journey of Angel City FC and its fearless team of women who are blazing new trails and smashing barriers in the male-dominated world of sports. 

"Angel City" is a groundbreaking three-part documentary series that delves into the electrifying world of women's football. The docu-series takes you on an inspiring adventure that chronicles Angel City FC's incredible journey, from their early days in Los Angeles to their rise as a force to be reckoned with in football. Through candid interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, "Angel City" showcases the unwavering dedication and passion that these women bring to the game every day. Join us in celebrating the revolutionary spirit of Angel City FC, and witness firsthand how they are championing the cause of gender equality and inclusivity, one game at a time. 

The Making Of "Angel City"

Photo by David Nelson

Arlene Nelson's vast experience as a documentary director has allowed her to delve into the most fascinating and diverse worlds of art, music, and true crime. But it was the enthralling story of Angel City Football Club that inspired her to step out of her comfort zone and explore the world of sports for the first time.

As she learned more about the team's mission and origins, Nelson realized that their story needed to be brought to life on the screen. With boundless passion and enthusiasm, she and her team set out to document the birth and inaugural season of this remarkable team in the National Women's Soccer League.

Soccer fans can now experience the excitement of this captivating journey in the documentary "Angel City." Nelson's exceptional storytelling skills offer you an immersive and unforgettable experience, making it a must-watch for sports enthusiasts and documentary fans alike.

"In my conversations with Julie (Uhrman, one of the founders of Angel City FC), we said, 'If we don't broadcast these stories, how are we going to bring recognition and awareness to the league, and what happens?' This is a special time for professional female athletes, and we need to understand the importance of broadcasting these stories. There have been so many misconceptions about women's sports, but the interest is there, and Angel City is proof that the interest is there."

The Story Behind Angel City FC

Left: Abby Wambach. Right: Kara Nortman, Natalie Portman, and Julie Uhrman.

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected sources, and Angel City FC's story is a testament to this.

A few years ago, Natalie Portman was profoundly impacted by Abby Wambach, a retired soccer player and member of the LGBTQ+ community. This led her to create her own soccer team with a mission to revolutionize the sport.

During the 2016 ESPY Awards ceremony where Abby Wambach was honored with an Icon Award alongside Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning, she gave a stirring speech that exposed the grim realities faced by many female athletes after their sports careers, including financial instability, lack of job security, and inadequate health insurance. And instead of turning a blind eye to this issue, Portman, Kara Nortman, and Julie Uhrman took action and founded Angel City FC, a team dedicated to supporting female athletes and offering them a brighter future. 

Proving Skeptics Wrong

Against all odds, this groundbreaking project has proved the skeptics wrong by attracting massive attention and generating significant revenue. 

Changing The Game

Portman, Nortman, and Uhrman have shown unwavering determination and vision in supporting and valuing female athletes. They have broken down barriers, redefined standards for women's sports competitions, and provided competitive salaries. In addition, they ensure their players' safety and stability.

This is a fascinating story of pioneers who embody change, told with sensitivity and transparency. Natalie Portman herself testifies to the extraordinary adventure this is. It's incredible to see how one person's passion and determination can truly make a difference. This can pave the way for a brighter future.

"I never thought I would have anything to do with professional sports," she said in an interview. She added that it is "one of the most extraordinary experiences" of her life.

Support From Icons Across Different Fields

With the support of icons from cinema, sports, and business, such as Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, Serena Williams, Uzo Aduba, Christina Aguilera, Sophia Bush, Lindsey Vonn, America Ferrara, and Jennifer Garner, they are shaking up established codes and leading the way towards change.

"Angel City": The Docu-Series

Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

So are you ready to be inspired? The Angel City team's incredible journey is chronicled in a three-part documentary series that offers a rare glimpse into the formation of a professional women's football club. With over 40 individuals involved in this sporting odyssey, the series manages to capture the pivotal moments that led to the creation of the investor group and the crucial decisions made on the field. 

Not All Sunshine And Roses

But it's not all sunshine and roses. This documentary series takes a candid and transparent approach to showcase the challenges faced by the team, including disagreements between former coach Freya Coombe and former sporting director Eniola Aluko, as well as the controversy surrounding midfielder Katie Cousins who, in June 2022, voiced her backing for a Tampa Bay Rays player's decision to not wear Pride-themed jerseys based on his religious beliefs. 

Triumphs And Highlights

Despite these obstacles, the series celebrates the team's triumphs and highlights, reminding us of the resilience and perseverance required to succeed in sports. 

Angel City FC's LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Commitment

Didi Haračić and Paige Nielsen.

Angel City FC is a team that puts inclusivity at the forefront of its mission. The team takes immense pride in having LGBTQ+ players who thrive on the field. Didi Haračić and Paige Nielsen (pictured above) are two such players who have made significant contributions to the team's success.

What also sets Angel City apart is its passionate queer team, led by Julie Uhrman, co-founder and president, who has been instrumental in driving this initiative. With the support of iconic LGBTQ+ figures like Abby Wambach and Billie Jean King, the founding investors, the team has established itself as a shining example of openness and pride. Angela Hucles Mangano, Head of Player Development and Operations, Chris Fajardo, Senior Director of Community Impact, and Kim McCauley, Director of Recruitment and Analytics, all contribute to making Angel City an inclusive and welcoming community for all. 

Review: Rooting For More Than Just A Team

Photo: Courtesy of NWSL

From the very first episode, we are immediately hooked on the thrilling and heartwarming experiences that lie ahead. It is impossible not to feel the urge to continue following the team's journey and rooting for their success. What sets this series apart is its unique blend of entertainment and social impact. Angel City FC effortlessly combines the excitement of the sport with a deep sense of commitment to noble causes. This creates an ideal marriage between these two often contradictory elements. It's safe to say that if the goal was to raise awareness and educate while providing top-tier entertainment, Angel City FC has accomplished its mission with flying colors. So, whether it's buying tickets or checking broadcast schedules, one thing is for sure: you will eagerly await the next chapter in this compelling tale. 

Watch The Trailer

Here's the trailer for "Angel City": 

Release Date & Where To Watch

"Angel City" is a three-episode documentary series that premiered on HBO on May 16, 2023. You can watch it now on:

If that leaves you wanting more, check out the official Angel City FC website for even more information about the club and its next match at:

Will There Be A Season 2? Director Arlene Nelson Weighs In

Director Arlene Nelson is cautiously optimistic about bringing season 2 to life for the docu-series. While her ardent desire remains strong, she acknowledges that the future of the show ultimately depends on the support of its loyal supporters. 

"If it were up to us, we would do season two now," she said. "We're waiting to see if there's an audience and interest in the story. I'm pretty confident that there will be interest, and maybe we'll be back because there are still so many stories to tell."

The public's excitement for the show is undeniable, as demonstrated by its passionate and dedicated fanbase. We can only hope that the producers take notice of this enthusiasm and bring the much-awaited second season to fruition. As someone who personally loved watching the docu-series, I can't help but feel that three episodes were far too short. 

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Saturday, 18 May 2024