[In the player above, watch previous FOX 8 News coverage of Cleveland Soccer Group’s announcement of plans for a men’s soccer team in Cleveland.]

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The National Women’s Soccer League is expanding for its 2026 season and Cleveland Soccer Group wants the city to have its own team.

Clevelanders are now being asked to “Back the Bid” and donate, showing their support for Cleveland becoming the home of the 16th league team.

“To secure the next expansion team, it’s critical that we show the league Cleveland is the best market with the best fans, and we’re excited about this campaign because Clevelanders always step up for our great city,” Cleveland Soccer Group co-founder and CEO Michael Murphy is quoted in a news release. “Clevelanders rallied to get the Rock Hall here, and we know we can count on the same support, enthusiasm and grit that only Clevelanders have. Our goal is to unite soccer fans and fans of Cleveland to get behind us by ‘Backing the Bid.’”

Competition to court the women’s league’s latest team is expected to be “significant,” according to the group.

Donations are $26 and come with a “Back the Bid” T-shirt, a digital badge for social media and first dibs on priority tickets once they go on sale.

Supporters can also tag @clevelandprosoccer on Instagram or use the hashtags #NWSLtoCLE, #BacktheBidCle and #LoyalCLE on social media.

The group in November announced it’s launching a men’s professional soccer team to join a new Major League Soccer league in 2025. At that time, Murphy said the group’s application to establish a new women’s team in the NWSL had moved on to the next round of review.

“‘The beautiful game’ will bring Clevelanders together like never before,” Murphy is quoted in a previous news release. “Our group is committed to a long-term vision of supporting professional men’s and women’s teams.”

For more information, visit the Cleveland Soccer Group website.