Angel City FC has signed defender Giselle Thompson, from Los Angeles, to a three-year plus one-year contract, the National Women’s Soccer League club told ESPN before officially announcing the signing on Thursday.
Thompson, the younger sister of Angel City forward Alyssa Thompson, signed the contract on November 28, four days before her 18th birthday, through the National Football League’s under-18 entry mechanism.
Giselle Thompson received a National Letter of Intent from Stanford University this fall and has decided to decline the college’s offer to pursue a professional contract. The mechanism for entry of children under the age of 18 into the league requires the approval of the player and her father or legal guardian. Angel City was able to draft Thompson high on the roster just before her 18th birthday and without her entering the draft.
“It feels surreal,” Thompson told ESPN. “I never imagined becoming a pro at such a young age. I always thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to go to Stanford.’ “I’m going to go to college.’ I never thought about turning pro this early, but I’m really excited.”
Thompson, a U.S. women’s national team player, told ESPN that her decision to sign before her 18th birthday rather than join the draft or play at Stanford had a big impact on the fact that she would be able to play at home in Los Angeles with his sister and mother. He finished his senior year at Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles and continued building with Angel City.
He began to understand #AngelCityFCLatest signing, Gisele Thompson.
Learn more about Giselle Thompson at the link below.
– Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) December 7, 2023
Angel City general manager Hucles Mangano explained to ESPN that since Thompson signed in 2023, this year will be considered the first year of his contract. As a result, Angel City created a three-year plus one-year option to keep Thompson with the team for the next three years, with 2026 being the option year.
“Given how chosen Gisele is [si hubiera ingresado] “Going into the draft, we probably wouldn’t have gotten it with our current picks,” Hucles Mangano said. “We were very deliberate and knew the player we wanted to secure and fortunately we were able to make it work.”
Thompson played for the United States Under-20 and Under-17 national team. At the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, Thompson won gold with Team USA.
More than 10 years ago, Thompson and his sister Alyssa joined MLS Next’s Total Futbol Academy, a prominent club in Southern California. After playing on the Harvard-Westlake team during his junior and senior years, Thompson decided to hang up his high school jersey and focus on club soccer.
Gisele and Alyssa, 19, are the youngest players on the Angel City roster. In 2022, the sisters made history as the first high school athletes to sign name, image and likeness contracts with Nike.
The sisters will make history once again when they take the field for the 2024 NWLS season, becoming the second and youngest sister duo on the same team in NWSL history. In 2018, Tori and Maddie Hoster became the first pair of sisters to partner with the Washington Spirit.
Angel City selected Alyssa Thompson with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, making her the first high school senior to be selected No. 1 in league history. At the time, Angel City were also looking to sign Giselle Thompson.
“It was around the same time that we were trying to get Alyssa to be part of Angel City, that we were also looking to get Giselle,” Huckless Mangano said. “That was really a strategic part of our mindset and our ability to make Alyssa and Gisele starters when we were trying to acquire Alyssa and secure the No. 1 spot in the draft.
“It took over a year to develop Giselle’s strategy because even at that point, even though she didn’t know the direction she wanted to go, we were hoping to get to that point.”
While 17-year-old Giselle Thompson decided not to turn professional alongside her sister, she began training with Angel City in the preseason and continued throughout the 2023 season. Thompson said that during that time, she began watching her older sister’s experience and seriously considering the idea of Transitioning to professionalism.
“It all really started when I was training with Angel City. From Alyssa’s perspective, she didn’t really know what to expect when she turned pro. I was just seeing what Alyssa went through and knowing what to expect,” Thompson said. .
“I love playing for Angel City and being around them. They treated me like I was part of their family. I felt like I had to be there.”
Throughout the 2023 season, Alyssa’s parents, Mario and Karen Thompson, watched as their daughter watched from the sidelines as her older sister made a name for herself as a professional soccer player.
“I saw that sparkle in his eyes,” Karen said. “I was asking him: Can you see yourself there?” Without hesitation, she said: “Yes. She saw her sister dealing with it and I think she had the same conviction and feeling that she could be a professional and go out and perform.”
When the sisters take the field for the 2024 season, they will be playing on the same team for the first time in more than two years.
“I can’t wait to help her score and help her achieve her goals,” Giselle Thompson said.
That excitement is shared by Alyssa Thompson, who helped lead Angel City to its first playoff berth this year and finished her rookie season with four goals and two assists.
“I wouldn’t want it anywhere else,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t want to play against her. She would bring a level of perseverance on the field. We both trust each other in our respective positions and know we have each other’s backs.
“We hold ourselves to very high standards and trust the other person enough to get the job done.”
Hucles Mangano told ESPN that Gisele Thompson will have a “development opportunity” with Angel City.
“This is not a situation where we put additional pressure or ask her to shock and change the world or change the game… She has time to develop,” Hucles Mangano said. “She has time to develop as a professional athlete. The reason they hired her is because she is good at this age.”
She added: “Giselle has an element of versatility that has not been explored yet. She has the ability to play with a more attacking mentality than the defensive line… She suits our style of play. We want to have exciting players who are that exciting.” “They’re part of Angel City and they can be creative. I think Gisele brings that too.”
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