NWSL expansion team Angel City FC has been fined by the league after violating the tampering policy when chasing Gotham FC player Allie Long.
The newest side will forfeit $20,000 in allocation money for 2022 and have been fined an additional $20,000.
It remains unclear how the tampering took place.
Angel City is currently led by head coach Freya Coombe, who spent time with Gotham before being snapped up by the expansion side in August.
Founded by actress Natalie Portman, former USWNT star Abby Wambach, Julie Uhrman, Kara Nortman and Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams, Angel City is expected to make their debut during the 2022. The team’s 12 home games will be played at LAFC’s home Banc Of California Stadium.
The team currently boasts only one official player, USWNT forward Christen Press. She was announced in mid August after signing a two-year contract with an optional third year, bringing her payout to an estimated $550,000 to become one of the highest-paid players in NWSL history.
“The dream of being a pro player in L.A. was always elusive for me,” Press said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Every team that I’ve played for has always been like, ‘You know, when L.A. gets a team, we promise we’ll send you there.’ And it always felt everyone’s been able to say that because no one knew when it was happening."
Angel City acquired the rights to Press through a trade with Racing Louisville FC. In return for Press, Louisville received ACFC's first-round pick in the 2022 NWSL draft, $75,000 in allocation money and roster protection from ACFC during the 2021 NWSL expansion draft.
The club is set to be led by Coombe and Robert Udberg, who was hired as assistant head coach and performance director.
“I think everyone has been watching the story of Angel City unfold and I have been very impressed with the direction of the club and the core values upon which it is built,” Coombe said in an ACFC press release.