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Countdown to 2024: Reviewing the Roster


With the 2024 season opener just four days away, Angel City’s 26-player roster is official.

In Head Coach Becki Tweed’s first offseason at the helm, she and General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano made big moves to build on the team’s 2023 success in the upcoming season and beyond. Those moves included bringing in new players at every position, as well as re-signing defenders Sarah Gorden, Elizabeth Eddy and Megan Reid; and midfielders Madison Hammond and Lily Nabet.

Read on for a (non-exhaustive) overview of the roster, focusing on the eight signings the club has made since the end of last season, plus a few returning players fans will want to keep an eye on.


Two of the three goalkeepers on the roster—DiDi Haračić and Angelina Anderson—are returning from last season. The third, Hannah Stambaugh, arrived at Angel City this offseason following a transfer from the Tokyo club Omiya Ardija Ventus.

All three keepers are at different stages in their careers and have different strengths: Haračić is the most experienced of the group, and has been the top choice at Angel City over two seasons. Anderson, who got a few starts late last season, has outstanding height and athleticism. Stambaugh, finally, shone for Japan at the 2018 U-20 World Cup and has big upside

Goalkeeping Coach Omar Zeenni praises Stambaugh’s distribution, calling it “second to none.” He adds that the 25-year-old is “crazy flexible” and “makes saves that you’re just like, ‘what is that? How did you do that?’”


The defense includes the first new signing of the offseason, forward Alyssa Thompson’s younger sister, Gisele. The younger Thompson shares many of her older sister’s attributes, including her blazing speed, confidence on the ball, and impressive pound-for-pound physical toughness—but she’s been playing right back for the last four years. That makes her something of a rarity in the American landscape, where top defenders are converted forwards more often than not.

“We want to have dynamic fullbacks that want to join in the attack, and I think she just adds to that,” says Head Coach Becki Tweed. “She's well-rounded. She understands the game very well. She is crazily still 18 and has international experience.”

Just this week, Angel City announced the signing of Madison Curry, an Orange County native who the club selected 51st in the 2024 NWSL Draft. Curry played her college ball at Princeton, where she earned All-Ivy League First Team honors three times. She co-captained the Tigers in her senior season, playing all 200 minutes in their NCAA Tournament appearance and contributing to six shutouts over the course of the season. Curry also played in the semi-pro Women’s Premier Soccer League while in college, for Kansas City Current II and SoCal Reds FC; she tallied one goal and six assists in the league.

Finally, 2024 will mark the return of outside back Merritt Mathias, who, due to injury, has yet to play a single minute for Angel City since her arrival in the 2022–2023 offseason. Mathias has won more trophies in the NWSL than any other player on the roster: she’s a three-time NWSL Champion (Kansas City in 2014; North Carolina in 2018 and 2019) and three-time Shield winner (Seattle in 2015; North Carolina in 2018 and 2019), and it’s not a coincidence that she’s been on so many successful teams.

An NWSL original—she was drafted by FC Kansas City in the 2013 Supplemental Draft—Mathias is known for being one of the most dogged one-on-one defenders in the league, and like Thompson, she’s an outside back who likes to get forward as much as defend.



Another player we can look forward to seeing more of this year is French international Amandine Henry, who returned to the club following the international break. Though Henry joined Angel City last summer, she arrived in LA having just recovered from the injury that ruled her out of the 2023 World Cup, and only played 408 minutes in six matches for the club.

The glimpse ACFC fans got of Henry in 2023, when she was still building her fitness back up, scarcely did her justice: the 34-year-old is one of the best footballers in French history, and one of the top No. 6s ever in the women’s game. Already an NWSL champion and Shield winner with Portland, her ability to read and dictate play from deep in the midfield has been rivaled perhaps only by former Angel City midfielder Julie Ertz. A fully fit Henry will be a formidable defensive base for a midfield that’s also added new creative talent.

Speaking of that creative talent, another major new addition is Costa Rican international Rocky Rodríguez, acquired via trade with the Portland Thorns. Rodríguez was drafted out of Penn State—where she was an NCAA Champion and MAC Hermann Trophy winner—by then-Sky Blue FC (now known as NJ/NY Gotham FC) in 2016. A league veteran who has a Championship and a Shield with the Thorns, Rodríguez can play any role in the central midfield, but shines most as a No.8, where she can put both her creativity and her physicality to good use.

Rodríguez isn’t primarily a goal scorer, but when she does put one in the back of the net, it tends to be spectacular.

Another veteran presence the club added is Meggie Dougherty Howard, a versatile central mid who’s been a reliable contributor for Washington, Orlando, and most recently San Diego, since she was drafted out of the University of Florida in 2017. She made 17 appearances across all competitions for the Wave en route to the club’s 2023 Shield win.

Finally, last week the club announced the signing of Kennedy Fuller, another 16-year-old who has been a standout in the US Youth National Team system; she was the leading scorer at both the U-15 and U-17 Concacaf championships en route to US wins at both tournaments. Fuller is a No.10 who will look to create opportunities for other players as much as she scores herself, and is a vocal presence who helps dictate play in the center of midfield.


Next on the list was Casey Phair, a 16-year-old who made her senior international debut for South Korea last summer at the 2023 World Cup—becoming the youngest player of any gender to play in a senior World Cup in the process. Phair is a goal-scoring attacker who Tweed describes as “fearless” in and around the box. At 5’9, she also provides strong holdup play and front-line defense.

“All those things that you cannot coach, that come as natural instincts,” says Tweed, “she has.”

The other 2024 addition to the forward line, Messiah Bright, coincidentally played for the same Dallas-area youth club as Fuller, Solar SC—though Bright, heading into her sophomore season as a pro, is almost eight years Fuller’s senior.

Bright had an outstanding rookie season with Orlando, who selected her 21st overall—an unexpectedly late selection for TCU’s all-time leading scorer—in the 2023 Draft. She quickly proved she was ready for the pro level, scoring her first NWSL goal after subbing on in Orlando’s home opener… against Angel City. First Assistant Coach Eleri Earnshaw is only partially joking when she says, “Sarah [Gorden] was so glad when we signed her because it means that she doesn't have to defend against her anymore!”

Angel City's 2024 season kicks off this Sunday, March 17, at 4:30 pm. You can buy tickets here.