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Match Preview: Angel City vs Bay FC | 3.17.24


Sunday, March 17, at 4:30 p.m., Angel City opens the 2024 regular season at home against Bay FC. The match will stream in the US on Ion and internationally on NWSL+.


The 2024 season opens with a historic match for Angel City, as the LA club heading into its third year faces its new Bay Area rivals in that team’s first-ever regular-season match.

This will be the third year in a row ACFC has begun its season with a home game, after beating the North Carolina Courage 2–1 in 2022, then falling 1–2 to NJ/NY Gotham FC in 2023.

Although Bay FC is new to the league this season, the two teams have faced off once before, in a preseason match at the Coachella Valley Invitational on February 24. That game ended in a scoreless draw.

Scouting Report

Bay FC are heading into their inaugural season having made some splashy signings to fill out the roster they started building in the 2024 Draft and Expansion Draft.

The team’s defensive corps is highly experienced, with multiple NWSL champions in Ellie Jean (formerly of NJ/NY Gotham FC), and Emily Menges (Portland). It also includes 2021 NWSL Defender of the Year Caprice Dydasco, former Stanford standout Kiki Pickett, and veteran Scotland international Jean Beattie.

The big-name signing in midfield is Deyna Castellanos, the former Florida State star from Venezuela who opted to sign with Atlético Madrid rather than entering the NWSL Draft in 2020. The No.10 spent two years in Madrid before transferring to Manchester City, where she appeared in 24 matches over the course of two years.

Bay’s forward line is almost all internationals, with former San Diego forward Rachel Hill the lone domestic player in the group.

The headliner up top—and perhaps the whole roster—is Nigerian international Asisat Oshoala, a 29-year-old who comes to San Jose from Barcelona, where she scored a head-turning 85 goals in 101 appearances. A (record-holding) six-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year and two-time Ballon d’Or nominee, Oshoala also scored the game-winner against Australia in the 2023 World Cup. 

Former Angel City forward Scarlett Camberos will likely not appear in the opener, as she was ruled out of the 2024 Gold Cup due to injury.

New Additions

Angel City also made its share of major signings this offseason, starting with outside back Gisele Thompson, the 18-year-old sister of forward Alyssa Thompson, in November.

Thompson was just the start of the club’s 2024 youth movement, as South Korea international Casey Phair signed in January, followed by U-17 standout Kennedy Fuller just this past week. Former Orlando Pride forward—and 2023 Rookie of the Year nominee—Messiah Bright signed shortly after Phair. Bright, who fell surprisingly low in the 2023 draft, kicked off her rookie season with a bang, scoring the first of six regular-season goals in her first appearance—against Angel City in her team’s 1–2 home loss against LA.

In the midfield, Angel City added Costa Rica star Rocky Rodríguez, a 30-year-old who most recently spent three years with the Portland Thorns, winning the Shield and Challenge Cup in 2021, and the Championship in 2022. A true box-to-box mid, Rodríguez can play various roles in the center of the pitch, and will add both physicality and creativity alongside veteran No.6 Amandine Henry.