With the sport of soccer bringing together teams from the NWSL and Europe for competitions, Angel City Football Club didn’t have to look far for its first friendly.
Angel City joined a two-year partnership with Tigres UANL Femenil of Mexico’s Liga MX. The team will meet in a friendly Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium (7 p.m., Bally Sports SoCal).
“It’s so important for us and I think connecting with the soccer community both locally and globally is really important for us,” Angel City coach Freya Coombe said. “I think the growth of the club and what we’re looking to do is these partnerships that we’re able to have with clubs.
“It starts off with two teams kicking a ball, but it’s more about how we’re able to learn off of each other and how we’re both looking to take the best points from each other’s soccer club and the way we implement and grow the game in our communities.”
Next year, Angel City will head to Monterrey, Mexico to visit Tigres. Next month, Angel City will host the Mexican women’s national team at Banc of California Stadium in the first Copa Angelina.
The partnership is more than just the two scheduled friendlies. A major factor are the community events for fans in both cities. The teams held a community soccer festival Tuesday, which included a youth soccer clinic, 5v5 tournament and a player meet-and-greet.
“For us, it is an honor to make this alliance with Angel City FC, a young, motivated franchise with which we have found similar objectives in taking women’s football to another level,” Tigres president Mauricio Culebro said in a statement. “We want to turn Tigres Femenil into one of the most renowned teams at an international level and this type of partnership allows us to get closer to that goal.”
Angel City president called this partnership “a milestone in our club’s history.”
The game will also bring home a pair of Southern California products. Mia Fishel, who attended UCLA, left school early and signed with the Mexican club. Anika Rodriguez, who attended Torrance High and UCLA, joined Tigres after two seasons with PSV.
Also, Brazilian midfielder Stefany Ferrer Van Ginkel spent seven months with Tigres before joining Angel City in January.
“Having Tigres play in Los Angeles is an amazing opportunity to grow soccer even more in this city and community,” Van Ginkel said. “The fans are going to get a completely different experience than they have had so far in our first season.”
Angel City returns to NWSL play Sunday at home against the Chicago Red Stars.
Tigres UANL Femenil at Angel City FC
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Banc of California Stadium
TV: Bally Sports SoCal