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Angel City FC fires head coach after rocky start to season

Angel City FC has fired coach Freya Coombe halfway through the 2023 season, per reports. (Stephen Brashear/USA TODAY Sports)

Angel City FC has fired head coach Freya Coombe, the club announced Thursday. The Athletic’s Meg Linehan first reported the move Wednesday night.

The Los Angeles club sits in 11th place in the league standings at the midway point of the 22-game season, with just two wins compared to three draws and six losses. Angel City enter Saturday’s rivalry match against the San Diego Wave on a six-game winless streak across all competitions.

“After considerable deliberation and evaluation of where the team is in the season, ACFC has made the difficult decision to make a change,” the club said in a statement. “The club is grateful to Freya for her hard work and unwavering commitment.”

Assistant coach Becki Tweed will serve as the interim head coach until a permanent replacement is announced, per Angel City.

Coombe came to Angel City in 2021 ahead of the club’s inaugural season in 2022. Angel City finished in eighth place, four points out of the last playoff spot with an 8-9-5 record (W-L-D).

Prior to her arrival in Los Angeles, Coombe served as head coach of NJ/NY Gotham FC. She resigned from the club during the 2021 season after accepting the position with Angel City.

Coombe posted a statement to her Twitter account Thursday in which she thanked the Angel City ownership group, players and fans “for the chance to help build something so influential on and off the field.”

“We showed the world what happens when people properly invest in women’s sports,” she wrote.

The team’s recent string of losses, most recently to the Washington Spirit last Saturday, led to questions about Coombe’s job security. But when asked if she felt pressure regarding her position, Coombe focused her answer on the team’s play.

“Letting the performances have to speak in the progress we are making. I think that speaks to the progression we are making as a squad and our evolution of our squad. We’ve had a lot of turnover for whatever reason in terms of inconsistency, in terms of starting XI,” she said over the weekend. “I think building in a little bit of consistency is helping and I think the return to health of some players is also going to help bolster that. But I think right now we’re just focusing on the performances.”

The news of Coombe’s firing comes three days before Angel City is set to face fellow 2022 expansion team San Diego on the road, with in-state bragging rights on the line.