Kara Nortman’s path to owning a professional women’s soccer team began in Vancouver, British Columbia, when she went looking for a women’s soccer jersey during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Nortman found some, eventually, without players’ names on the backs.
“I just didn’t understand why it was so hard,” Nortman said. “I was trying to get people to take my money. Why could nobody take it?”
A Southern California native from a sports-driven family, Nortman, a venture capitalist, soon became devoted to women’s soccer, following the top division in the United States, the National Women’s Soccer League, and talking about the game with anyone who would listen — including the actress Natalie Portman, whom she met at a fund-raiser. Both soon became active supporters of the U.S. women’s team’s fight for equal pay, and after last summer’s Women’s World Cup, they decided it was time to involve themselves more personally in the game.
“Natalie texted me three times, just one line: ‘Let’s bring a team to L.A.,’” Nortman said.
On Tuesday, their dream became a reality when the N.W.S.L. announced that it would expand to Los Angeles in 2022, with a team bankrolled by an ownership group that includes not only Nortman and Portman, but also the tennis star Serena Williams and her husband, the tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian; the media consultant Julie Uhrman; and more than a dozen former members of the