(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Angel City Football Club (ACFC) is wasting no time in taking care of its Club’s critical business during this “off-season” period. They recently held a media availability to announce that they have agreed to contract terms with Gisele, the younger sister of their #1 National Womens Soccer League (NWSL) draft pick a year ago, in the dynamic talent of big sister, Alyssa Thompson. The announcement closely coincided with Gisele’s recent 18th birthday on December 2nd.
Like her accomplished sister, Gisele is a graduate of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, and has accentuated her resumé with time spent on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Under-17 and Under-20 Teams, as a young and upcoming Senior national team player. Gisele has been competing in a Defender’s position with those teams.
Here is the Club’s recent press announcement that has been distributed for media consumption. Our posting comes with the following contents credited to the team’s Media Relations staff–a photo gallery plus quotes from Gisele, and Manager, Angela Hucles Mangano.
ANGEL CITY FOOTBALL CLUB SIGNS GISELE THOMPSON
LOS ANGELES (December 12, 2023) – Angel City Football Club held an event at Nike LA last Friday, Dec 8 to celebrate the signing of Gisele Thompson. Read the quotes from Thompson and General Manager, Angela Hucles Mangano.
[ACFC Defender Gisele Thompson]
(On when the process to bypass college and sign with ACFC began)…“It was a very last minute decision because I had all my applications for Stanford already done. It was hard for me to make that decision and it came down to being close to my family while still getting that education, which was really important.”
“It was definitely a decision that I had to make for myself. My parents didn’t care whether I went to college or if I went pro, it was all on me. They supported any decision that I made. Also, seeing Alyssa go through the process of going pro, helped me get a little more comfortable making my decision.”
(On training with ACFC during the 2023 season and how it will impact her transition into the season)…“All the players were very welcoming to me and always wanted me to do my best. They also saw the potential in me and kept pushing me hard to never give up. Even if I thought I couldn’t do something, I would sometimes get down on myself, and they would see that, but kept encouraging me to keep going.”
[ACFC General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano]
(Is there something that the team does differently as far as helping players like Gisele navigate their pro career?)…“I do think that there’s an age between U21 – U23 and below versus above. Depending upon how much experience each player has that probably segments out on more of that transitional component of becoming a pro.”
“Someone like Gisele has had a lot of experiences that most high schoolers and some college players don’t have. Those elements set her apart and is a huge reason why this is going to be a smoother transition for her than even a college player coming in after the college draft into a professional environment.”
(On managing expectations for young players while setting lofty goals?)…“It will be a lot of communication. It’s always good to know what the expectations are from both sides, which starts in preseason. There is the expectation that this is a professional environment. Especially for players who have never been a professional before, there’s also ways to communicate that you absolutely have goals and aspirations to push and to exceed.”
“In the conversations we’ve already had with Gisele, we know that she’s a competitor and wants it all. She wants to be a National Team player, wants to be the next Rookie of the Year, all these things. It would be a similar expectation if a player isn’t starting, we want that player to want to start.”
“For our younger players who are newer to the professional environment, there’s always an element of what this player is developing into. I’m very vocal about that, and I said it also in some comments last year with Alyssa, the expectation isn’t for a younger player to come in and dominate and have all the things in year one. That’s not the expectation. If they do fantastic, that’s a cherry on top.
“However, there is an element of needing to provide opportunities for these players no matter what stage they are coming into. Our environment is to develop and grow and that’s no different with Giselle.”