By: Gabrielle Nordstrom
Edited By: Kylie Augis
From bottom of the barrel to top of the league, NJ/NY Gotham FC has had quite the unexpected start to the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season.
Coming into this season, expectations for Gotham were not high. According to ESPN, a mid-table finish is a realistic goal for the club. Two months into the season, the team is already beating expectations.
Gotham finished last season with a record of four wins, one tie, 17 losses, the worst in the NWSL. The prior season, Gotham made it into the playoffs. So to simply put it, this was a very disappointing season for the team, coaches and fans. That is when things needed a change.
No big stars like Alex Morgan were brought in, but that is not what Gotham needed. A few simple changes and Gotham is right where they want to be.
Head coach Juan Carlos Amoros was brought in. Amoros coached the Houston Dash as an interim head coach the year prior. During his time there he brought them to be a fourth place team and to their first playoff experience.
Before his time in Houston, he was a head coach of top teams in England, Spain and the U.S. He has won two Manager of the Year awards while in England with two different clubs. Gotham signed him to a three year contract starting this season.
Another addition that has already proven to be helpful this season was bringing in forward Lynn Williams. Through nine games Williams has already found the back of the next five times. What is even more impressive is the 18 shots on net she has. Williams has single handedly put the team on her back and brought their name back into the top of the league. She is tied for first in the league for goals, in addition to big names like Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan and Ashley Hatch.
It took a lot for Gotham to get Williams. The team had to trade their second overall pick in the draft to Kansas City Current in order for Kansas to agree. Gotham seems to be happy with the trade as it has propelled their team’s rebuild as they sit on the top of the league. Williams also plays for the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) and will be battling for a roster spot for the upcoming Women’s World Cup starting in July.
Forward Midge Purce, who has two goals and five shots on net, also signed a new contract with the team this year. Her two goals come in second for most on the team behind Williams. Purce will also be looking to compete for a roster spot with the World Cup rapidly approaching.
Before the season started, ESPN gave out odds to each team for who will win the championship. Gotham’s odds were at +1800. This means that if someone bet $100 on Gotham winning the championship, they would win $180,000. So from that, it is safe to say it was not expected for Gotham to even come close to winning.
It is still very early in the season, but Gotham has put themselves in a good position that no one has expected. With 17 games left in the season the question is, will they be able to keep this up?