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Bay FC making waves ahead of their NWSL debut
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Danny Ryan
Racheal Kundananji scored eight goals in 14 appearances for Madrid CFF this season
Racheal Kundananji scored eight goals in 14 appearances for Madrid CFF this season

Bay FC are already making significant headlines before kicking a ball in the National Women's Soccer League.

Last April, the side based in San Jose were officially named as one of the league's expansion teams for the 2024 season alongside the Utah Royals.

Since the announcement the club have moved from strength to strength and look set to be a major player in the NWSL moving forward. 

Ahead of their highly-anticipated opener against Angel City on March 16, we run through all you need to know about Bay FC.

Transfer trailblazers

Part of the reason why Bay FC are tipped to take the NWSL by storm is their activity in the transfer market. 

After acquiring Nigerian hotshot Asisat Oshoala from two-time Champions League winners Barcelona, they smashed the women's transfer world record to bring in Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji from Madrid CFF this week.

Kundananji, 23, arrived in the Bay Area for a fee of £625,000, eclipsing the £385k Chelsea handed Levante for talented striker Mayra Ramirez at the end of last month.

The African stars are not the only high-profile foreign names to complement a squad containing a number of exciting talents from the US, including four-time NWSL-winning goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland.

Experienced Scottish defender Jen Beattie was snapped up from Arsenal while exciting attacker Deyna Castellanos — who boasts 22 goals in 38 games for Venezuela — also joined from Manchester City.

Asisat Oshoala scored 117 goals in 162 matches across all competitions for Barcelona
Asisat Oshoala scored 117 goals in 162 matches across all competitions for Barcelona

Key information

Bay FC were co-founded by US legends Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton and Leslie Osborne.

The majority owner of the franchise is Sixth Street Panthers, with the global investment firm's CEO Alan Waxman and Wagner serving as the co-chairs.

Albertin Montoya, 48, was appointed as the team's first head coach last September — the Cuban having previously taken charge of FC Gold Pride, the last professional team from the Bay Area who ceased operations in November 2010.

Montoya's side will play their home matches at PayPal Park, which is also the 18,000 capacity home of Major League Soccer outfit San Jose Earthquakes.

Earthquakes president Jared Shawlee: "We are thrilled to welcome Bay FC to their new home at PayPal Park.

"They have done an outstanding job launching their club with a dynamic brand and we look forward to seeing their world-class players on the pitch in 2024.

"We are also excited to work closely with them to help build community through soccer all over Northern California and make PayPal Park the epicentre of soccer in the region."

New rivalries

Bay FC's entry into the NWSL will see the creation of some new Californian rivalries in the 14-team division.

Their trip to the BMO Stadium to face Angel City is the start of one of them as the hosts hail from Los Angeles — the reverse fixture set to take place on June 22.

And San Diego Wave are another team from the Golden State, with Bay FC scheduled to make a first-ever journey to the Snapdragon Stadium on April 27.

The Wave travel to PayPal Park three weeks later, meaning the Californian derbies will be finished before the business end of the campaign.

The 26th and final matchday of the season begins on November 2 ahead of the playoffs.


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