The 2024 NWSL season is officially, official now that the schedule has been released and players have reported for training. Angel City FC, like the rest of the NWSL, are hoping the 2024 season ends with them lifting the championship trophy. Considering how last season ended for ACFC, fans have every right to go into this season feeling like this is their year to establish themselves as consistent competitors within a league that is increasingly improving parity and competition.
Stretching our wings pic.twitter.com/F5SAwnjvzZ
— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) January 24, 2024
“It’s so easy for me to stand here and say we want to win a championship” said Angel City Head Coach Becki Tweed when speaking to media at training. “That’s what every single person is going to say to you. When you walk into a room of competitive people, that’s always going to be the goal. We have some mini goals and the process of what’s going to be important for us? What do we need to do along the way to get into that process?”
“Step one is to make the playoffs. Step two is to win home games, and we did last year. We haven’t won three back to back games as a club yet, which I still think there’s an opportunity. Although we’re in year three, the goal is for us to get so many firsts that haven’t happened.” Before we get into the gritty of what the 2024 campaign might, and should, look like for Angel City, we will take a page from Head Coach Becki Tweed and take it one step at a time. First, let’s take a look at the freshly released NWSL Schedule, featuring two brand new clubs for ACFC to face off against.
Us since the schedule release pic.twitter.com/nxt6pJKzci
— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) January 27, 2024
New clubs, new rivalries, and added levels of chaos
The NWSL actually gave us some time (albeit not a lot of it) to get our lives together and start planning those glorious away days. You can take a look at the full 2024 Schedule for Angel City here. After closing out the season with an incredible 12 match run that saw the club slide into the playoffs, the team look to not just repeat that accomplishment, but build on it.
vs Bay FC 3/16, @ Bay FC 6/22
Angel City won’t have to wait long to face off against one of the two new clubs set to make their respective debuts this season. Los Angeles kick off the new season at home, against a team that will almost undoubtedly become fast rivals, Bay FC. The Bay vs LA rivalry is one that transcends sports and roots itself in everything from fashion, to music, to slang. Now that we are about to see an already intense rivalry collab with one of the most chaotic professional leagues in existence, prepare for a wild ride. It might take time, but these two clubs will learn to hate one another, and the fact they meet day one, makes opening day even tastier.
@ Utah Royals 5/3, vs Utah Royals 10/20
The other new club set to debut in 2024, isn’t so new. The rebirth of the Utah Royals has been fascinating to watch this offseason. The original iteration of the club folded in 2020, and became the KC Current after the original owner was ousted amid controversy. Now, the Royals look to not just return to the league, but shine a better light on the club’s name. They have done well so far, as they have built a roster that is not only talented, but has taken player wishes into consideration, filling the team with those who actually want to be there. With the return of Angel City superstar Christen Press looming, this will also be a reunion of sorts as Press goes up against the last team she played for in the NWSL before heading over to Man United prior to signing in LA.
Always cookin’ 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/pu6XFBoXQL
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) November 12, 2023
@ NJ/NY Gotham FC 6/8, vs NJ/NY Gotham FC 7/6
The East Coast / West Coast rivalry lives on between these two clubs and after last year, that East Coast Swing is hitting hard. Gotham come into the season as defending champions as well as winners of the offseason, adding every big name free agent available this window. It’s always a huge test going up against a team defending their title, but considering how much talent Gotham added, the test is going to be even tougher for Angel City. The other added layer to this one is ACFC Head Coach Becki Tweed was part of the Gotham staff that helped guide the team during their rebrand from Sky Blue FC. A chance for the first-time head coach to make a great first impression against her old club.
vs Washington Spirit 9/27
Honorable mention to this single match against the Spirit. When LA first see Washington this season, it will be in middle of May with the Spirit still likely under their Interim Head Coach. However, shortly after their new HC, former Barcelona manager Jonatan Giraldez, will take over. When the DC side fly out to LA in September, Giraldez will have had some time to gel with his new squad. What makes this matchup so intriguing is the style of the matchup. Tiki-Taka footy comes to NWSL, and judging by how ACFC played last season, they are the type of club to want to just hit you with attack after attack and free flowing football. Expect plenty of sauce, snatched souls, broken ankles, and considering this match is late in the season, could come with the added bonus of playoff implications.
Those are just some of the more exciting matchups Angel City have to look forward to in the season ahead. There is still plenty of time between now and early March. Plenty of time to add more talent, plenty of time left on the pitch testing out tactics, and plenty of time left to get fully fit for the long road to the postseason.
What matchup are you most excited about? Leave a comment below!