It’s finally official — a 2023 FIFA World Cup Champion is joining the National Women’s Soccer League. NJ/NY Gotham FC announced on Wednesday that the team has signed 30-year-old striker Esther González through 2025 with a mutual option for 2026.
“I am excited and honored to join Gotham FC, one of the top clubs in the NWSL,” González said. “As I continue my journey in football, I look forward to my next challenge in a competitive league where I will face the best players in the world in every game.”
The news of the Spanish international’s move to Gotham has been the subject of significant chatter over the last two months. Back in June, Spanish soccer news outlet Relevo reported that Gotham was a likely destination for the striker. Then, on Men In Blazers’ live watch-along of Spain’s quarterfinal matchup against the Netherlands, Gotham player Ali Krieger let slip news of the signing.
More firepower for a playoff push
The move comes at a crucial time for Gotham FC who now has to say goodbye to Katie Stengel who joined the squad on a brief loan from Liverpool. González will surely provide a needed, consistent goal scorer to help Lynn Williams up top, especially following Midge Purce’s first-half substitution from Gotham’s most recent game against San Diego, suggesting a nagging injury.
González will join an already star-studded roster with former World Cup champions from the U.S. women’s national team and international standouts from national teams around the world. With six more games left in the NWSL regular season, González should provide the extra spark the club needs to make the final push for a playoff spot. Gotham currently sits in third place with 25 points, three off the first place Portland Thorns and one off the second place North Carolina Courage.
Following the appointment of Spanish coach Juan Carlos Amorós, Gotham has begun to attract current and former players of La Roja. First came Maitane López from Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old forward has seen a pair of national team call-ups since 2021 and also appeared for the U19 and U17 Spanish squads. González has been more prolific with the senior team, having scored 26 goals in 42 appearances since 2016.
At the 2023 World Cup, González played an important role on a young Spain squad. She featured in five matches, earned three starts, and notched a goal in a group stage match against Costa Rica.
“Esther Gonzalez is a proven goal scorer at the highest level,” Gotham FC General Manager and Head of Soccer Operations Yael Averbuch West said. “She is clinical in and around the box, and the weight of her experience accompanied with her skillset will provide a tremendous complement to the great players on our roster, as we continue to attract and maintain a high caliber of talent at this club.”
At the club level, González has showed her talents over a successful career in Spain’s Liga F. Most recently, González played at Real Madrid where she scored 30 goals over 54 appearances between 2021 and 2023, making her the club’s all-time leading goal scorer. Prior to joining Real Madrid, Gonzalez starred for Club Atlético de Madrid, where she led the team to three Liga F titles and a Copa de la Reina crown. She also played for Levante and Sporting de Huelva.
“We are excited to welcome Esther Gonzalez and the quality that she will bring to the team,” Gotham Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós said. “She fits well into our attractive stye of play; she is a winner who works tirelessly on the press for the team, and she has an unbelievable hunger for goals and trophies. We cannot wait to welcome her into the team.”
González will likely not be available for Gotham until September, but the club is wasting no time celebrating the arrival of its new number 9. The team will be offering fans 9% off tickets for two upcoming matches, including Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville on Aug. 27, and Gotham FC vs. Washington Spirit on Sept. 16.
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