NJ/NY Gotham FC has had a great season compared to 2022. After finishing in last place, they ended the 2023 season in sixth. They barely made the playoffs after struggling in their final games. Notably, the race for the top spots was a tight one.
Yet, the difference between the two seasons is immense in every way. More importantly, the club will play in their first NWSL Championship after their semifinal win in Portland.
The players deserve the recognition of being able to overcome adversity and win their two playoff matches on the road. After struggling at the end of the regular season, they regrouped and earned those wins.
Juan Carlos Amorós is the Coach of the Year
However, Juan Carlos Amorós is a major reason why Gotham FC finished in sixth place and made the playoffs. He turned this team around in one season, reshaping the culture on and off the pitch. Hence, it was not shocking that the Spaniard was named the NWSL Coach of the Year.
Amorós' leadership and coaching abilities turned the last-place Gotham FC into a playoff contender. In 2022, the team finished the season 4-17-1, ending the year with only 13 points. This season, their record was 8-7-7, leading to 31 points. The 18-point difference was a massive one and the largest jump in the team's history.
Additionally, he led the Bats to their first-ever playoff win in the NWSL. Now, he has the honor of leading them in their first NWSL Championship game.
Moreover, he did this while dealing with a multitude of injuries that included starters. His ability to install the "next-woman-up" mentality into his squad is why so many on the bench found success throughout the season.
Plus, Amorós turned Gotham into a defensive powerhouse. The ladies only allowed only 24 goals in the regular season. Also, they allowed 205 shots, which was the lowest in the league. It would be silly not to mention how the coach turned Jenna Nighswonger into one of the best defenders in the NWSL. The midfielder was forced into the full-back role due to injuries and adapted extremely well. Great coaching can aid players in transitioning into new roles.
NJ/NY Gotham FC is lucky to have Amorós. He deserved to be named the Coach of the Year. Regardless of Saturday's result, there is no question that the future is bright for the Bats. The ladies can become the best team in the NWSL with Amorós leading the way.