U.S. soccer star Christen Press is having a historic homecoming in Los Angeles.
The national team star is returning to her hometown as the first signing in the history of the expansion Angel City FC of the National Women's Soccer League, which was announced on Monday.
Fresh off winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Press also reportedly has signed a historic contract that will pay her more than $700,000 over three years, making it the largest in the league's nine-year existence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
She gives the team a marquee player for its inaugural season in 2022 and joins a club that already has plenty of star power among its ownership group.
Actors Natalie Portman, Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Garner and Sophia Bush, tennis star Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, tennis legend Billie Jean King, skiing great Lindsey Vonn, basketball star Candace Parker, and talk show host James Corden are among the investors and collaborators in Angel City FC.
"We are proud and honored to have her wear the Angel City crest and jersey," Portman said in a video shared on Instagram by the team.
"Friends, fellow Angelenos, lovers of soccer, we are having a very, very big day at the Angel City Football Club," Bush said in a video on her Instagram Stories. "Christen Press is coming home, baby! I'm so excited. Girl, get here, we can't wait. This is going to be amazing."
"You probably saw the news, welcome Christen Press on behalf of everyone at Angel City FC, we cannot wait for you to take the pitch next year," Ohanian said in a video on his Instagram Stories. "Thank you for being our first member of the squad. Very happy to have you."
Angel City had to acquire the rights to Press from Racing Louisville FC by sending its first-round pick in next year's NWSL draft along with $75,000 in allocation money to Louisville.
The star forward comes back home after having previously played for the Chicago Red Stars and Utah Royals FC in the NWSL as well as Manchester United in England and two professional clubs in Sweden during her 10-year professional career. The former Stanford University standout also has been a fixture for the national team as one of the squad's top scorers.
"The dream of being a pro player in L.A. was always elusive for me,” Press told the Los Angeles Times. “Every team that I’ve played for has always been like, ‘You know, when L.A. gets a team, we promise we’ll send you there.’ And it always felt everyone’s been able to say that because no one knew when it was happening."