When NJ/NY Gotham FC drafted Imani Dorsey in 2018, it was unknown whether the forward/midfielder/defender would find success in the NWSL. Of course, it was expected, for there was a reason she was drafted fifth overall. Her success at Duke University was a testament to her talent.
Like Jenna Nighswonger did this year, Dorsey won the Rookie of the Year in 2018. She scored four goals and had one assist after joining the team in June of that year. Since then, she became a staple in Gotham FC's lineup and played the majority of games she was available for.
Imani Dorsey is leaving Gotham FC
At least, that was the case until 2023, when she did not play a game for Gotham FC. The forward stepped back from the beautiful game to focus on her mental health. Her courageous step allowed her to remember what she loved about soccer. As such, she made her plans of returning known.
Unfortunately for the Bats, Dorsey will not return to the NWSL Champions. On Wednesday, it was announced she will be joining Utah Royals FC in free agency after five seasons and six years with Gotham. She appeared in 72 games during her time in New Jersey, scoring six goals in all competitions.
Notably, Dorsey's goals were all from 2018 and 2019. While she did not prove to be a consistent scorer with the Bats, her ability to play both as a defender and forward provided flexibility with the Starting XI. In fact, over the last few years, she played predominantly as a left-back. Additionally, she has experience as a left midfielder.
Gotham will miss Dorsey's ability to move the ball into the attack, versatility, and passion for the club. While others have stepped up, namely Nighswonger, it is sad to see the player leave.
While Dorsey might not play for NJ/NY Gotham FC, hopefully, she will be successful in Utah and find the joy of the game again.