In a move that's stirring excitement in the NWSL, Angel City FC has signed the Los Angeles native and promising defender Gisele Thompson. Joining her sister Alyssa Thompson at the club, Gisele has inked a three-year contract, with an additional one-year option.

The signing, which took place on Nov. 28, just days before Gisele's 18th birthday, represents a significant milestone for the younger Thompson. She has chosen to bypass college soccer, turning down an offer from Stanford, in favor of pursuing a professional career. The decision was made possible through the NWSL's under-18 entry mechanism, which requires consent from a player's parent or legal guardian.

Gisele expressed her excitement and disbelief at turning pro at such a young age, a path she had not originally envisioned. Her choice was heavily influenced by the opportunity to play alongside her sister in their hometown of Los Angeles and to continue her education at Harvard-Westlake.

“It feels surreal,” Thompson said, as reported by Charlotte Gibson of ESPN. “I could have never imagined going pro at this young age. I've always thought, ‘Oh, I'm going to Stanford. I'm going to college.' This was never even a thought in my mind that I would go pro this early, but I'm so excited.”

Alyssa happy ‘not to have to play' against Gisele

USWNT, Angel City FC, Alyssa Thompson, World Cup

Angel City's strategic approach to signing Gisele was outlined by General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano. The club anticipated Gisele's high value in the draft and acted intentionally to secure her commitment. The 2023 season will count as her first year under contract, with the club aiming to retain her through at least 2026.

Gisele's soccer journey has been notable, including stints with the U.S.' under-20 and under-17 national teams, and a gold medal at the 2022 Concacaf women's under-17 championship.

The Thompson sisters are no strangers to making history in soccer. In 2022, they became the first high school athletes to sign NIL contracts with Nike. Their partnership will again be historic when they take the pitch for Angel City in the 2024 NWSL season, becoming the league's youngest sister duo on the same team.

Alyssa Thompson, having been selected as the first pick in the 2023 NWSL draft by Angel City, has already begun making her mark in the league. The pursuit of Gisele by Angel City was part of a long-term strategy, coinciding with the effort to secure Alyssa's involvement.

Gisele's journey to professional soccer was influenced by her training experiences with Angel City and observing her sister's professional progression.

As they prepare to play together for the first time in over two years, both sisters share excitement is palpable. Gisele eagerly anticipates assisting and scoring alongside Alyssa, while Alyssa expresses her relief at not having to face her sister as an opponent.

“I would not want her anywhere else,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I definitely wouldn't want to play against her. She's going to bring a level of tenacity on the field. We both trust each other in our respective positions and know that we have each other's backs.

Hucles Mangano has emphasized that Gisele's signing is an opportunity for her to develop without undue pressure. Acknowledging Gisele's potential, she highlights her versatility and attacking mindset, fitting seamlessly into Angel City's style of play.

“Gisele has an element of versatility that hasn't even been explored yet. She has an ability to play more of an attacking mindset from that back line,” Mangano said. “She fits into our style of play. We want to have exciting players part of Angel City who can be creative. And I think Gisele brings that as well.”