ANGEL CITY NAMES FREYA COOMBE AS HEAD COACH
Robert Udberg Joins As Assistant Head Coach and Performance Director
LOS ANGELES (August 23, 2021) - Angel City Football Club (ACFC) today announced the hiring of Freya Coombe as Head Coach. Coombe is ACFC's first coach and the first hire by newly-appointed Sporting Director Eniola Aluko. She is the current head coach of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) NJ/NY Gotham FC and will join ACFC after the 2021 NWSL season concludes.
“I think everyone has been watching the story of Angel City unfold and I have been very impressed with the direction of the club and the core values upon which it is built,” said Coombe. “When the opportunity to connect with Eni and the team arose, I knew I had to explore it. Leaving NJ/NY Gotham was not an easy decision, but the chance to join ACFC as the head coach of a new team was something I could not pass up.”
In addition, Aluko announced the hiring of Robert Udberg as Assistant Head Coach and Performance Director. Udberg will oversee the management of the multi-disciplinary performance team at ACFC, directing the club's strategy for sports science, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and the training environment.
Coombe and Udberg join Aluko, Vice President of Player Development and Operations Angela Hucles Mangano, and Director of Scouting and Analytics Kim McCauley in the growing soccer operations team ahead of the team's inaugural season in Spring 2022.
"I am delighted to welcome Freya and Rob to the team. Freya's experience as a player, coupled with her deep tactical knowledge, commitment to culture, and her most recent experience as a head coach in the fiercely competitive NSWL, make her the great fit for the team we are building from scratch," said Aluko. "I'm also thrilled to welcome Rob to the team. He is an incredible leader with a brilliant soccer and sports science mind. As Assistant Head Coach and Performance Director at Chelsea Women, Rob was part of a trailblazing team that won multiple titles over his six-year period with the club, and I know he'll bring that winning experience to Angel City from day one."
Aluko continues: "As we continue to build out our team, you will see my commitment to creating a truly inclusive, diverse, people-focused football club of staff and players that can be successful on and off the pitch come to life. I believe the balance of our differences and competencies, whoever we are, is what makes incredible teams and organizations. I look forward to continuing to build this team with this important goal in mind."
ACFC'S FOCUS ON ANALYTICS DOES NOT WAIT UNTIL GAME TIME
Kim McCauley, Director of Scouting and Analytics for ACFC, has worked for the last year to build out a bespoke player analytics and scouting database that will assist the staff in making player decisions steeped in data. This role is unique to the NWSL, but critical as Angel City takes a global lens to player recruitment, identifying national talent, and developing local relationships. In addition to building out and maintaining the ACFC database and scouting reports, she will also play a key role in the player movement process.
Coombe played and coached for English side Reading FC for seven years. During her time on staff, she served as Director of Coaching for the Reading FC Centre of Excellence and as the Women's Development Team Manager for Reading FC Women. Coombe was recruited to The US in 2014 to fulfill the role of Director of Coaching for Everton America CT, a position held for four years. In 2018 Coombe was appointed the Director of Scouting and Development Academy Coach at New York Soccer Club. She holds USSF B and UEFA B licenses as well as a Masters in Sport Science. Coombe joined NJ/NY Gotham FC (previously Sky Blue FC) in Sept 2019 as Interim Head Coach and the appointment was made permanent at the end of the 2019 season. Coombe guided the team to a Challenge Cup semi-final in 2020 and Challenge Cup final in 2021.
Udberg’s vast experience includes working with and learning from, some of the best players and staff in the game during his time as Assistant Coach at Chelsea FC and The Football Association in England. Both roles allowed him to travel extensively, gaining knowledge of practices in different countries and cultures, including time spent with clubs and colleges in the United States. Udberg holds a UEFA A license in coaching as well as a Masters in Environmental Psychology.
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ABOUT ANGEL CITY
Angel City Football Club, a member of the National Women's Soccer League in the US, will take the pitch in Spring 2022 and call the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles their home. The team is founded by Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and venture capitalist, 776 founder and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Other founding investors, mostly female and with ties to Southern California, include Serena Williams and daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr., Sports Icons Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, actors Uzo Aduba, Sophia Bush, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner, and Eva Longoria, actor and late-night host James Corden, late-night host Lilly Singh, Latin Pop Superstar Becky G, fourteen former US Women's National Team players representing Southern California including Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and FIFA World Cup Champions Lauren Cheney Holiday and Abby Wambach, MLS/US Soccer legend and sports broadcaster Cobi Jones, NFL All-Pro Ryan Kalil, WNBA Legend Candace Parker, Gold Medallist, and Alpine Skiing Legend Lindsey Vonn, Gold Medallist and NHL-All Star PK Subban, author and activist Glennon Doyle and entertainment and media executives Cindy Holland, David Nathanson, Brian Weinstein, Brian Sullivan, and Ben Grossman. Learn more at www.angelcity.com and follow the team on social media @weareangelcity.
For those interested in placing a seat deposit for the inaugural 2022 season tickets, which start at $180, please visit https://angelcity.com/pages/seat-deposits.
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