On Sunday, NJ/NY Gotham FC announced the signing of midfielder Meleana “Mana” Shim to a short-term injury replacement contract. Shim is immediately available for selection for Gotham FC’s game against the Chicago Red Stars on June 25, with a 5:30 ET kickoff.
Across all National Women’s Soccer League competitions in her career, Shim has appeared in 85 games, with 55 starts, nine goals, nine assists and 4,912 minutes played. Shim made her last NWSL appearance on June 2, 2018.
“I am excited to return to the NWSL as part of Gotham FC. It’s a demanding and professional environment that’s focused on players first, and they have put together an incredibly talented group that I’m honored to share the field with,” Shim said.
Shim’s NWSL resume is extensive. The midfielder, who initially signed with the Portland Thorns as a Discovery Player in 2013, was named Newcomer of the Year after scoring five goals with two assists and 17 starts in her 19 appearances. She was the first Thorns player to score in four consecutive matches.
With the Thorns, she won NWSL Championships in 2013 and won the NWSL Shield in 2016. In 2017, Shim joined Växjö DFF in Sweden before returning to the NWSL and signing with the Houston Dash in 2018.
“Mana is a veteran leader who brings knowledge and experience as a fantastic addition to this great group of players,” Gotham FC General Manager and Head of Soccer Operations Yael Averbuch West said. “We have worked hard to create a welcoming environment for players, and we are proud that she has chosen to be a part of this club.”
Off the field, Shim is a 2022 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In 2021, she played a key part in efforts by current and former NWSL players to eradicate harassment and abuse in the league.
While Shim joins Gotham FC, she will maintain her full-time position with the U.S. Soccer Federation as Chair of the Participant Safety Taskforce. Under Shim’s leadership, U.S. Soccer is working closely with membership in developing the Safe Soccer Clearance program that will redefine the processes and criteria used to determine eligibility to participate in soccer in the United States. The program will have a multi-year, tiered rollout with the initial pilot phase targeting the Fall of 2023 before being introduced to the broader soccer landscape in 2024.
More information on the Safe Soccer Clearance program can be found on U.S. Soccer’s Participant Safety Hub.
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