ACFC announces new player program, retirement of No. 22


Angel City FC is launching the Angel City Player 22 Future Program and subsequently retiring the No. 22 before it is ever worn on the field, the club announced Wednesday.

The number was chosen as a nod to the team’s Spring 2022 kickoff as well as in celebration of the 22 players on the pitch in every match.

As a result, the club has debuted a special collection of 22-themed merchandise. Sale of the collection’s items will result in 10 percent of the revenue being allocated to the program. Once ACFC’s official jersey is launched, subsequent sales of the No. 22 jersey will also result in 10 percent of their revenue being allocated to the fund.

The program itself is designed to create avenues for former NWSL players to pursue careers in the sports industry. With an ultimate goal to help prepare players for entry into the workforce following their professional soccer career, there will be opportunities in multiple roles, including coaching, refereeing, media and front office.

To help manage the application and selection process as well as oversee the distribution of funds, ACFC has partnered with the California Community Foundation.

“Through this program, Angel City is investing in the retirement of these players and therefore the athlete as a whole,” said Angela Hucles Mangano, ACFC Vice President of Player Development and Operations and a gold medal-winning member of the US Women’s National Team, in a release. “Professional soccer is so intensely focused on preparation and performance on the field that the off-field player development aspect can be an afterthought. Upon retirement, a professional athlete competes with a recent college grad for jobs, and we want to do what we can to create opportunities to equip players with the professional development skills they need to succeed in the workforce.

“Further, as a female-led and driven organization, this program will help continue to drive the momentum of more females entering the sports business.”

More details on the jerseys themselves have also been announced, with ACFC sponsors DoorDash, Birdies and Sprouts Farmers Market to be featured.