Bay FC coach Albertin Montoya said previously that he was working on acquiring a world-class No. 9. On Thursday, she arrived.
Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala was announced on Thursday as the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League’s latest signing following the completion of a transfer from FC Barcelona. She is signed through the 2026 season with an option for 2027.
“I spoke with [Montoya] earlier and I like the style of play, the style of football he wants to play,” Oshoala told The Equalizer. “I like the fact that he wants to do something different, something you don’t get to see in the NWSL every time because mostly this league is about transition. But he wants something different. He wants to keep the ball; he wants to play an attacking style of football. And I feel like coming from Barcelona, it’s something I would really love to be a part of.”
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Oshoala just arrived in the Bay Area this week and will be looked to as the team’s primary goal-scoring threat in its first season of existence. Playmaker Deyna Castellanos, another international announced by Bay FC last week, will likely play provider to Oshoala, who is accustomed to scoring goals — and winning.
“To have the opportunity to add a player of Asisat’s quality, experience and winning pedigree to our roster is an exciting and important day for the club and the NWSL,” Bay FC general manager Lucy Rushton said. “She brings a top-class mentality to the field combined with pace and technical ability that allows her to lead the line, while also giving those players around her the license to be creative and thrive in space. Asisat is a proven goal scorer at the most elite levels of World football, and she comes here to continue that with Bay FC.”
With Barcelona, Oshoala won a pair of European titles as well as Spanish league titles each of the past four seasons. Oshoala is a proven goal-scorer who helped Barcelona rise to the top of Europe since joining the team in 2019. She previously played in England for Liverpool and Arsenal as well as a stint in China.
“I feel like personally, my game. I’ve tried to learn how to adjust to different styles of football,” Oshoala said. “Because every few months, you have to switch from the national team to the club side, you go back to the national team, spend a couple of days — and as a player, you have to kind of like be able to adjust to all of these things. It’s not easy and I’ve been to different places anyway. I’ve been to Arsenal to China to Liverpool, and they’re all different styles of football, different all different types of players. They’re not the same, so this has actually helped me as a person to understand this and try to adjust myself to everything.”
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Nigerian teammates past and present have connections to the NWSL, including current international teammates Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash), Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville FC) and Ifeoma Onumonu (Utah Royals FC). Current Nigeria head coach Randy Waldrum previously coached in the NWSL.
Oshoala said she spoke with some of her Nigeria teammates who have experienced the NWSL and they spoke of the league in a positive manner, which helped with her decision.
Joining any team after playing for Barcelona, the new standard-bearers in global women’s club soccer is always a tall order. Moving teams is an adjustment for any player, period. Oshoala said she is ready for the challenge.
“From where I’m coming from, the experience and everything, I understand that you can’t get the same thing everywhere,” she said. “But that is actually something that’s going to shape me as well to help me work even harder for this team to be able to attain the same height.”
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