'Oakland Soul' to become city's women's soccer team

Oakland Roots Sports Club announced the launch of a women's soccer team on Tuesday.

‘Oakland Soul,’ will be part of USL W-League in 2023. The team will officially launch on June 23, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the most important piece of legislation in the history of women’s sports.

"We’re thrilled to be taking the next steps in realizing our vision for soccer in Oakland, a sport that should be open and accessible to everyone" said Lindsay Barenz, President of the Oakland Roots and Oakland Soul. 

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"A women’s team in Oakland has been part of our purpose since day one," said Barenz. "We want Oakland Soul to raise the bar for pre-professional development and continue harnessing the magic of Oakland and the power of sport as a force for social good." 

The launch of Oakland Soul comes after a multi-year, community engagement campaign. Oakland’s soul, past and present, is art, music, food, culture and activism, they said, and the name emerged from this concept. 

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"We are building something truly special here in Oakland," said Roots and Soul investor Alyssa Henry. "The response to the club so far has been amazing, and a sign that this was the right idea at the right time."

Club officials said Oakland Soul will provide a high-quality training environment for women, and protect and empower the players.