Jumping into the world of professional sports at 18 years old can’t be an easy decision or transition for a lot of young athletes. But Angel City FC’s youngest signed player made her choice to play with someone very close to her, and that made it all easier.
Gisele Thompson, younger sister of Angel City’s Alyssa Thompson, signed with the squad four days before her 18th birthday, and she credits her 19-year-old sister with helping her make the jump to the NWSL.
“I’ve trained with [Angel City] since Alyssa signed, and it’s just been a wonderful experience because everyone’s so welcoming. As time passed, they treated me like family, so I already felt like a part of their team. It was just such an amazing experience,” Gisele told FIERCE.
Besides Angel City being so welcoming, Gisele also witnessed her sister go through the signing process with the club just 11 months earlier. After seeing the steps and meeting the team, the decision was a no-brainer for Gisele.
“Seeing Alyssa go through it has made my decision easier. Knowing everyone and getting close [to] all the players had made it so much easier,” Gisele said. “I’m super excited to be a part of this team and see what we could do this season.”
As adults, Alyssa and Gisele get to live out their professional soccer dreams together. But these dreams started when they were just girls — girls who spent much of their time playing on club teams and training together.
When the sisters were younger, they didn’t imagine that they would sign a combined NIL deal with Nike. But when Gisele and her older sister became two of the earliest high school players to sign such a deal, the dream became real.
“Alyssa and I would always talk about it in our room like, ‘This is so crazy. How is this our life right now?’ It feels so unreal.” Gisele said. “So getting that opportunity, especially together, felt so surreal at the moment. We were just so happy and so blessed to have that opportunity.”