Longoria: Most calls I get are about Angel City FC

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Hollywood star Eva Longoria has said she received more calls about the new National Women’s Soccer League team she is involved with than she ever did about her own film and television work.

Known for her role in the hit TV series ‘Desperate Housewives’ and her work with L’Oreal, Longoria has joined forces with other famous personalities to fund the Los Angeles based team, which will compete from 2022.

“I didn’t realise the ripple effect it would have on the world,” Longoria told La Liga.

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“I have gotten more calls about funding a soccer team than about any of the work I’ve ever done! But I love it!”

Longoria was first approached by fellow actress Natalie Portman with the proposal and was immediately attracted by a team that would be owned almost entirely by women.

“Natalie Portman came to me and said we are gathering a group of entrepeneurs and venture capitalists,” Longoria said.

“We want to bring up a professional women’s soccer team and we want most of the funding investors to be women. I thought: ‘Oh my God, this has never been done before.’ Not only to create a women’s soccer team professionally but that all of the founders and investors are women.”

Led by venture capitalists Alexis Ohanian and Kara Nortman and entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, the ownership group also includes actresses Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera and Jennifer Garner, as well as talk show host Lilly Singh.

Serena Williams, who is married to Ohanian, is also part of the ownership group.

Among the 14 former USWNT players who are part of the group are Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Lauren Holiday and Abby Wambach.

“She was one of the main reasons we started Angel City,” Longoria said of Wambach.

“It was her idea. I think my favourite female soccer player of all time would be Abby Wambach. She is just an amazing player but also an amazing human being. She is super philanthropic, she is very engaged in pay equity for women.”

Many of the Angel City investors have been active in the Time’s Up movement of equal pay for women.

“Football is one of the most followed sports in the world,” Longoria said. “For me, I felt like sports also helps women to empower themselves.

“This is a huge part of why I’m part of Angel City. So we can make sure that world-class athletes are given the recognition they deserve and that includes women.”

Longoria said she is eager for the seasons to kick off around the world.

“We are living in a time right now with COVID-19 that we need entertainment and a release of the stress that we hold from this pandemic and what better way than sports and football, of course,” she added.

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