Ferns captain Ali Riley to join glamour Californian club in surprise move

Football Fern Ali Riley is to join a new high-profile National Women’s Soccer League club whose high profile owners include Hollywood stars and top women athletes.

The 34-year-old defender is heading to Angel City FC, based in California, after her current club, Orlando Pride, traded her to the new franchise for a fee of US$15,000 plus their third-round pick in the 2023 NSWL draft.

Riley has more recently been playing on loan for Swedish club FC Rosengard after a professional career that has included stints with Bayern Munich (Germany), Chelsea (United Kingdom) as well as United States clubs Western New York Flash and FC Gold Pride.

Riley, who has played 140 times for New Zealand since her debut in 2007, became the Ferns captain in 2017.

In her one season for Orlando, Riley started 18 of the 20 matches she featured in with a 75% passing success rate, and a 51% success rate in defensive duels.

Glamour club backed by stars

Angel City’s owners include actresses Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria, singer/actress Becky G and tennis legend Serena Williams.

Another co-owner is American football legend Mia Hamm (49) who made 276 appearances for the United States in a glittering career from 1987-2004. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two FIFA Women’s World Cup gold medals, having competed at four finals tournaments.

Main photo courtesy of Phototek