Photo by Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Gotham FC won the US National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) title after they triumphed over the OL Reign on Sunday, 12 November.
The game was significant due to it being the last for US Women’s National Team (USWNT) stars Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe who were playing on opposing sides.
The game took an emotional turn when Rapinoe tore her achilles 3 minutes into the game, an unfortunate end to a prosperous career.
Taking a closer look at the winners the New York and New Jersey club, Gotham FC, the club did not succeed out of nowhere. In fact, the side had a severe lack of funding just five years ago. Facilities within their stadium were dysfunctional such as running water and leaking ceilings.
Five years ago, the NJ/NY soccer team trained at facilities that lacked running water, working toilets and showers.
Last year it finished last in the league.
Tonight, with new part-owners @s10bird + @elimanning watching, @GothamFC won its first NWSL title. pic.twitter.com/9lAiRxIO5D
— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) November 12, 2023
Multiple players also have overcome their own set of obstacles to success. Of these players is none other than Ireland’s Sinaed Farrelly, who recently opened up about her experience returning to soccer after a 7 year break. In 2021, Farrelly spoke to the Athletic, revealing accusations of sexual coercion by her former coach Paul Riley.
Farrelly previously told a post-match conference about her return to the sport earlier this year. “I don’t want to lose sight of why I came back to play. It was just to have the game back in my life, and feel that joy and passion again, and I don’t want to attach myself to any outcomes.”
Another Gotham player, Esther Gonzalez who won the FIFA World Cup with Spain transferred to the NWSL side shortly after her national team became the subject of discussion following the non-consensual acts of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales.
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) November 12, 2023
Gotham as a club and its players illustrate the challenges that female soccer players face. Despite all of these unfortunate events, they display strength and character as they showed the world what they were capable of on that pitch on Sunday.