TAMPA, Fla. & STOCKTON, Calif. – The United Soccer League (USL) today announced Stockton as the USL W League’s first expansion team for the 2023 season. The addition will establish a W League presence in California.
“I'm beyond ecstatic to have Stockton plant the flag for the USL W League in California,” said Lee Neves, President and CEO of SC Stockton. “Stockton and our vibrant San Joaquin Valley has given so much to not only myself but my entire family, especially my parents who immigrated to California as newlyweds hoping to give their future children a better life. SC Stockton will be a club that my parents, as well as the entire community, can be proud to call their own. The City of Stockton can count on this club to represent them with class on the field and bring our fair share of championships back to the heart of California.”
Founded in 2021, SC Stockton’s mission is to provide first class sports entertainment for the City of Stockton, as well as the San Joaquin Valley. The club is eager to provide opportunities that were not previously available for Stockton’s untapped talent.
“We are thrilled to welcome our first expansion club of the 2023 W League season and even more excited to be expanding our footprint West into California,” said Vice President of Youth and Pre-Professional Properties Joel Nash. “The addition of Stockton makes the league’s reach Coast to Coast in just its second season.”
The club’s mantra “Our City, Our Team” represents how integral the city, dubbed Most Diverse City in the United States, will be in the building of SC Stockton.
“Finally, a team and a league for women that will provide them with an opportunity to highlight their talents,” said Stockton City Council Member Kimberly Warmsley. “This league will bring an opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion. I welcome SC Stockton and the USL W League to the Greater Stockton area!”
“California has a rich history in women’s soccer, and the W League’s future expansion – beginning with the addition of Stockton – will tap into the vast potential players from the state and provide fans more opportunities to enjoy the women’s game,” said Betsy Haugh, Director of Women’s Soccer Operations. “We are all excited to see how Stockton will impact its local community and add to the landscape of women’s pre-professional soccer on the West Coast.”