Defensive midfielder Alex Loera has become the first player for Bay FC, the National Women's Soccer League expansion team set to begin play next season in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Loera, who played at Santa Clara, was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Current in exchange for $175,000 in allocation money and protection from Bay FC in the 2024 expansion draft.
Loera was captain of the Broncos when they won an NCAA championship in 2020. She was picked by the Current in 2021 but deferred for her extra year of eligibility at Santa Clara.
"As soon as I heard that Bay FC could be a potential team in the league I was so excited. I was like, `Yeah, I'm going to end up back here at some point,'” Loera said on a conference call Wednesday.
In her rookie season with the Current last year, she scored the fastest goal in the league's playoff history when she scored in the fourth minute of a semifinal match against OL Reign.
“At 24 years old, I think Alex is widely regarded as probably one of the best midfielders in the league, probably one of the best and most technically gifted ball playing midfielders in the league as well,” Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton said.
Bay FC was cofounded by former women's national team players Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Danielle Slaton and Leslie Osborne. The group was awarded an NWSL expansion team in April.Albertin Montoya is coach of the team.
The addition of Bay FC and the Utah Royals next season will bring the league to 14 teams for the 2024 season.
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