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Women's Soccer is Back! QOBC with a NWSL twist

Split image of Bay FC logo above a photo of the Founding Four in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
images combined from

Josh: Let’s take a brief break from the heartbreak that is the 2024 San Jose Earthquakes and check out the new tenant at PayPal Park - 2024’s NWSL expansion side Bay FC. I’m so excited to be a part of welcoming women’s professional soccer to the South Bay. 

Matt: Josh, you’re so smart, insightful, charming, and handsome. Thanks for starting this episode.

Josh: haha just kidding - Matt wasn’t able to join me for the Bay FC match last weekend, so this will be a solo celebration for this very special episode.

I recently saw a note on Earthquakes social about how the commentary on the Quakes matches has declined in quality without Danielle Slaton. Well, she and her friends from the local women’s soccer scene have been very busy. The Founding Four: Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton, Brandi Chastain, and Leslie Osborne came together, in partnership with Alan Waxman and the money team at Sixth Street, to campaign, apply, get nominated, and then granted the latest National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team expansion here in the Bay Area. As we’ve talked in the lead up on QOBC, they did an amazing job connecting with communities all around the San Francisco Bay Area. And regardless of this author’s feelings on team names, they announced the team name of Bay FC to welcome the entire Bay Area to the pitch and to cheer for their local team.

Slaton, Chastain, and Wagner are San Jose natives. The three locals plus Leslie Osborne are part of the impressive legacy from Santa Clara University women’s soccer - including supporting one of the Broncos' two NCAA national championships. They’ve all played on USWNT and have several Olympic medals, CONCACAF and World Cup trophies among them. Brandi Chastain played for several of the professional women’s teams that precede Bay FC out here in Northern California, and all four women played some form of professional soccer in the US and abroad. This is an impressive resume for the Bay FC Founders.

They have not been afraid to bring together an exciting team. Most recently, Bay FC set a new record transfer fee to welcome Rachael Kundananji from Madrid CFF. She is joining another global superstar Asisat Ashoala, who moved to the Bay from Barcelona. The roster lists four other internationals, including replacement Goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx from Canada, an exciting list of US players drafted from around NWSL, and young talent from women’s soccer powerhouses like Santa Clara, North Carolina, and Florida State. I don’t see any Penn State or Maryland players… yet. But maybe Matt & my family legacy highlight will have to be Rachel Hill, who hails from York, Maine, and UCONN.

I know he’s gonna be disappointed, but I’m going to do Kit Talk without Matt here. Not gonna lie, that white & gray primary jersey reminds me of the Quakes secondary from a couple seasons back, especially because Bay FC’s jersey sponsor is the old SJ title sponsor. But my wife & I got to see the ladies play in their Fog Gray secondary jerseys, probably for contrast against Seattle, and that is a great look, especially with the B crest popping in orange. I also almost picked up a warmup top, what my expert called the “brush strokes” look. But you have to imagine next year will have to bring about something bold with Golden Gate orange - PayPal Park was covered in orange highlights - let’s see it on the field! Jerseys: 8 out of 10.

Three jerseys - Bay FC secondary in grey, Bay FC primary in fog/white, 2018 Earthquakes jersey
Minor point detractions for originality, but the team is starting strong.

The stadium experience was amazing. People were super kind and excited to be there. Without throwing shade at my Quakes, just stating facts, I think the first two Bay FC home games have sold more tickets than the Quakes four home stands so far - an 18K fan sold-out home opener and 16K fans got to watch first home win. At the South End is a singular Supporters’ section, supported by the Bay FC Drumline, who include some of my favorite people who also play in Niner Noise, and an energetic attitude from the Starting XI announcement to the half-time entertainment. It was a great place to be on Sunday night.

Next up for Bay FC: Road trip against NWSL powerhouses Kansas City (in the first stadium in the world built for a women’s professional sports team) and San Diego before coming home, where I will see them next, against Portland. Hope to see all you locals around PayPal Park!

While this is a Quakes column, I hope everyone took the time to make it this far. I have no predictions for Bay FC’s first season, except they are making the Bay Area a better soccer region, as it should be. The more people who are getting excited about soccer and bringing the community together for a positive experience: the better. The more communities that are represented, connected with, and celebrated: the better.

In the spirit of our usual signoff - thank you the Founding Four and Vamos Bay FC!

Twitter/X and Instagram: @QuakesCoasts


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