World Cup champion Esther González signs with NJ/NY Gotham FC: What she brings to the club


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NJ/NY Gotham FC signed Women’s World Cup champion Esther González through 2025 with a club option for 2026, the club announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • González comes to the NWSL after winning this summer’s WWC with Spain. She captained the team for two games during the tournament and scored a goal against Costa Rica in the group stage.
  • The 30-year-old holds the record for all-time scoring with Real Madrid, where she spent two seasons and notched 39 goals.
  • Rumors of González’s move to the NWSL have circulated since June, and Gotham’s Ali Krieger let it slip during a “Men In Blazers” live watching of Spain’s WWC quarterfinal match that González was joining her club.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What González brings to Gotham

Gotham FC has goal-scoring threats in Lynn Williams, Midge Purce and Ifeoma Onumonu, but González helps shore up the forward line — especially as Purce has been battling injuries this season. Gotham FC had signed Liverpool forward Katie Stengel on loan this summer, and her with her departure, there was the same need for a striker.

Gotham FC is in third place on the standings and is in a position to host a playoff game, but it also has the fewest goals scored out of any of the six teams heading to the playoffs. González, fresh off a World Cup victory, could provide the perfect boost to keep Gotham building toward the postseason. — Linehan

Her impact on the NWSL

The other angle to this signing, of course, is what it means for the NWSL as a whole — and Gotham FC signing a World Cup winner certainly helps quell some of the concerns around the league. It’s only a single data point, but there are always questions surrounding the league’s efforts to attract and retain international talent. This one is less about whether González will help Gotham sell tickets off the strength of her name, and more about the kind of team Gotham FC wants to build and how that reflects the progress of the league.

And kudos to the Gotham front office, who put out Wednesday’s news releases in both English and Spanish. It’s a good first step to taking full advantage of a signing like this. — Linehan

What they’re saying

“I am excited and honored to join Gotham FC, one of the top clubs in the NWSL,” González said in a statement. “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.”


González scored 30 regular-season goals during her time with Real Madrid, including 16 last year. She added five UEFA Women’s Champions League goals and one Copa de la Reina goal last season.

Prior to joining Real Madrid, Gonzálezs played for Club Atlético de Madrid and led the team to three Liga F titles and a Copa de la Reina crown. She also played for Levante and Sporting de Huelva.

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(Photo: Phil Walter / Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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