TAMPA, Fla. And OAKLAND, Calif. – The United Soccer League (USL) today announced Oakland Soul as the second California team slated to play in the 2023 W League season. Oakland Roots Sports Club will officially launch the Oakland Soul crest and brand identity at a community event on June 23, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the most important piece of legislation in the history of women’s sports.
“We’re thrilled to be taking the next steps in realizing our vision for soccer in Oakland, a sport that should be open and accessible to everyone,” said Lindsay Barenz, President of the Oakland Roots and Oakland Soul. “A women’s team in Oakland has been part of our purpose since day one. As part of the USL W League family, we want Oakland Soul to raise the bar for pre-professional development and continue harnessing the magic of Oakland and the power of sport as a force for social good.”
Founded in 2018, Oakland Roots Sports Club is a purpose-driven sports organization that consistently participates in their community through numerous activations with the club’s six Purpose partners – Soccer Without Borders, Chapter 510, My Yute Soccer, Street Soccer USA, Oakland Genesis, and America Scores Bay Area – through donations, equipment and strategic support. The club also operates Oakland Roots, which competes in the USL Championship and Project 51O in USL League Two.
“Oakland Soul is a tremendous addition to the W League for the 2023 season,” said Amanda Vandervort, President of USL Super League and W League. “Oakland is a special place with plenty of local pride and we know the heart of the community will come through with Soul.”
The launch of Oakland Soul comes after a multi-year, community engagement campaign. Arising from this process was the “Soul” concept, as it is synonymous with the arts, music, food, culture and activism that make up the fabric of Oakland’s past and present.