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.

San Diego Wave coach Casey Stoney took issue with the packed NWSL schedule in the wake of her team’s 1-0 loss to OL Reign on Saturday.

This weekend, the league returned from an international break. On Wednesday, the Challenge Cup will kick off, with 10 teams playing their first games of the tournament. And next weekend will bring another round of regular-season matches.

While Stoney would like to make adjustments with her squad, the quick turnaround will make that difficult.

“We ain’t got a lot of time to work on anything in practice this week because the league, joyfully, off the back of an international window, put three games week in, which is ridiculous,” Stoney said sarcastically.

The Wave will face the Portland Thorns at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, followed by in-state rivals Angel City FC at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.

Coaches of all three teams — San Diego, Portland and Angel City — also discussed the importance and the difficulty of load management coming off the international window and heading into the NWSL schedule crunch.

Canada women’s national team captain Christine Sinclair ended up missing the Thorns’ match Friday against the Houston Dash, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Delayed flights scrambled Sinclair’s travel back from her national team duties, and she arrived in Portland on Thursday evening, coach Mike Norris said.

Norris called the situation “very unfortunate, but frustrating as well.” Still, Sinclair’s health came first in the decision to rest her for the match.

“I think if you look at player safety, it was the right thing to do,” he said. “Could we have dressed her? Could we have used her? Maybe? But yeah, we took the decision what we felt was right, her safety and what’s coming ahead.”

Angel City rookie Alyssa Thompson played a full 90 minutes last Tuesday for the U.S. women’s national team, which came as a surprise to her NWSL coach Freya Coombe. Thompson had joined the USWNT as a late addition in the international window after an injury to Mallory Swanson.

“Obviously she had a mini adventure previously in the week, which was fantastic for her. We’re very supportive of that,” Coombe said. “It was important for us to manage her minutes coming back in because she had a journey and played the 90-plus minutes for the USWNT. She’s always looking dangerous when she comes in.”

NWSL Challenge Cup schedule: April 19

  • Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage, 7 p.m. ET
  • Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Houston Dash vs. Kansas City Current, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Angel City FC vs. OL Reign, 10 p.m. ET
  • San Diego Wave vs. Portland Thorns, 10 p.m. ET
  • BYE: Chicago Red Stars, Racing Louisville

Gotham FC is in the final stages of hiring a new head coach and assistant coach and expects to make an announcement soon, general manager Yael Averbuch West wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Gotham’s search is in response to current coach Freya Coombe accepting a head-coaching position with Angel City FC for the 2022 season.

Coombe initially planned to stay with Gotham FC through the end of the 2021 season, before Angel City begins play as an expansion club in 2022. However, after internal conversations, Coombe is now planning to leave the team following their match Sunday against the Orlando Pride, Averbuch West announced.

Gotham is currently 5-6-3 and fifth in the NWSL standings, looking to make a playoff push after losing to the Portland Thorns in the 2021 Challenge Cup final in May.

Angel City FC has officially hired their first head coach ahead of their debut season in the NWSL in 2022.

NJ/NY Gotham FC coach Freya Coombe is set to become the club’s first head coach, the team announced Monday morning.

Robert Udberg, who currently leads the CHX Challenge, will join Coombe as an assistant coach and performance director.

On Monday morning, Gotham FC sent out a series of tweets thanking Coombe for her contributions to the club over the past three seasons and wishing her “nothing but success in LA.”

Coombe has played a pivotal role in rebuilding Gotham FC, formerly known as Sky Blue FC, since assuming the role in 2019. In two and a half years with the club, Coombe has amassed a 10-8-11 record. Under her predecessor, Denise Reddy, Sky Blue won one game from from 2017 until she was fired in June 2019.

This past spring, Coombe led Gotham FC to the Challenge Cup Final, where they lost to the Portland Thorns on penalty kicks. The team is currently 5-6-3 in the NWSL regular season and in the playoff hunt at fifth in the standings.

Coombe’s hire comes after reports last month that Angel City FC had been targeting North Carolina Courage assistant coach Sean Nahas for the role. Following widespread backlash, the team released a statement that the search was “ongoing.”

Coombe is set to join Angel City at the conclusion of the 2021 season.