Soccer-San Diego named as NWSL expansion team

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FILE PHOTO: A logo for the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is seen inside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts ahead of a media event with players from the North Carolina Courage and Chicago Red Stars teams
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(Reuters) - San Diego will be home to a National Women's Soccer League expansion team that will begin playing next year and have former U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis as their president, the NWSL said on Tuesday.

The team, whose name, crest, head coach and venue partner will be announced at a later date, will become the top-flight NWSL's 12th franchise when it joins Los Angeles expansion club Angel City FC for the 2022 season.

"We aim to become a significant team globally, led by influential women, with the ability to attract the best talent throughout the world," Ellis said in a news release.

"I am eager to begin this project and look forward to leading this club as we build towards the future."

Ellis stepped down from the national team in 2019 after one of the most decorated managerial careers of all time during which she became the only two-time FIFA Women's World Cup-winning manager.

At the 2019 World Cup in France, Ellis guided her side to victory in each of their seven games in what was arguably the greatest achievement in the team's history, three years after they missed out on a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The San Diego club is owned by Ron Burkle, who is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion as co-owner of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We believe in Jill and will provide the necessary investment to build a club that all of San Diego will be proud to support," said Burkle.

"Jill's expertise and history within the sport is unrivalled and we are incredibly excited to continue to work with Commissioner (Lisa) Baird to bring a world-class team to San Diego as we continue to grow the sport and women's soccer."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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