BOSTON (AP) — Women's professional soccer is returning to Boston.
The National Women's Soccer League announced Tuesday that the Boston Unity Soccer Partners ownership group has been awarded franchise rights to the league's 15th team. It is the third new team announced this season, joining Utah Royals FC and Bay Area FC, both slated to begin playing in 2024.
The yet-to-be-named club is scheduled to begin NWSL play in the 2026 season.
It will be the latest attempt to establish a professional women's team in Boston. The Boston Breakers played in four different leagues — WUSA, Women’s Professional Soccer, Women’s Premier League Soccer Elite and the NWSL — between 2001 and 2018. Its longest stint was a six-year run in the NWSL that ended after the 2018 season.
NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman praised the new owners as “an impressive roster of business leaders committed to continuing Boston’s legacy of sports excellence and delivering a successful team to a very passionate fanbase.”
All of the core investors — representing 95% of the money — are women, and 40% is from people of color. The ownership group includes Juno Equity founder and Boston Celtics minority owner Julie Epstein.
Boston Unity Partners also is the first investment for Monarch Collective, founded by Kara Nortman and Jasmine Robinson, which is focused exclusively on investment in women’s sports.
“Our goal is to build a championship-caliber franchise that the city can be proud of, both on the pitch and in the community," Epstein said in a statement. “We will be relentless and daring in our quest to add another chapter to the city’s unrivaled sports legacy.”