The 2023 season has taken a major turn for NJ/NY Gotham FC. After barely making the playoffs, the ladies are going to their first NWSL Championship after the 1-0 win over Portland Thorns FC. They will face OL Reign for a chance to lift the trophy.
The joy and glory have not just been on the pitch but off it as well. On Monday, the NWSL announced their Best XI First Team and Second Team. The 22 players are deemed the best in the league and voted by the players, media, fans, and front offices. Gotham FC had three players named to the Best XI. Two were named to the first team, and one was named to the second team.
Three Gotham FC players were named to the Best XI teams
Gotham's Lynn Williams and Ali Krieger were on the Best XI First Team. The forward and defender both deserved the honor. Williams started the season on a goal-scoring frenzy and was the star for the Bats before she left for the World Cup. Since she returned, she has been held scoreless. Alas, her work rate has not gone down by any means. She continues to be an attacking threat in every match. She even got an assist during the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Krieger has been vital to the Gotham defense. She led the team in blocks and interceptions. Additionally, she helped the Bats limit the other teams' goals, for they allowed only 24 during the regular season. Plus, the captain is retiring after the NWSL Championship. The fact she is on the Best XI First Team illuminates she could play another year if she wanted to.
On the other side, rookie Jenna Nighswonger was on the Best XI Second Team. The midfielder-turned-defender has had a fantastic first year with Gotham FC. She adjusted well to the full-back position and was an attacking threat on the wings. She scored three times during the regular season. Defensively, she led the team and all rookies in tackles.
The three NJ/NY Gotham FC players deserve to be amongst the Best XI in the NWSL. They have been vital to turning the team from a last-place club to a Championship contender.