NWSL expansion side Angel City FC announced it has signed Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden from the Chicago Red Stars on Thursday ahead of the trade deadline.
The announcement also revealed that Angel City will receive an international slot from Chicago in 2022 and 2023, while the Red Stars will have full roster protection from ACFC in the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft on Dec. 16.
Ertz, 29, has spent her entire NWSL career at the Red Stars. The midfielder joined the club in 2014 and has six goals and eight assists in 95 appearances, but missed a lot of action in 2021 due to injury and her USWNT commitments.
NWSL Defender of the Year nominee Gorden has been at the Red Stars since 2016 and started every game of the 2021 season. Chicago reached the NWSL title game in November but lost to Washington Spirit in extra time.
"Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden are two players that are so important for the defensive foundation we are building on the Angel City roster," ACFC sporting director Eni Aluko said. "We know successful football teams need to have competitive defenses and we are delighted with the addition of two competitive defenders with many years of NWSL experience."
Head coach Freya Coombe added: "The level of experience and leadership that both Julie Ertz and Sarah Gorden bring to a team is incredible. Julie is such a known leader and competitor on top of being a rock in the middle of the field. Sarah is absolutely one of the league's best defenders. She was excellent all season and stood out in the NWSL Championship. They are the calibre of player that we want on the field playing for Angel City."
Both players join USWNT international and two-time World Cup winner Christen Press, who became the club's first signing in August 2021.
The Los Angeles-based expansion franchise of the NWSL has a group of founders that included actress Natalie Portman, tennis great Serena Williams and more than a dozen former U.S. women's national team players. It will play its first NWSL season in 2022.