Which position should Gotham FC pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft?

-The NWSL Draft will occur this Friday

-Which position should the team draft?

Jenna Nighswonger of Gotham FC
Jenna Nighswonger of Gotham FC / Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/GettyImages

NJ/NY Gotham FC is in the middle of the offseason. Thus far, they have been busy making moves, including big signings like Crystal Dunn and Rose Lavelle. The Bats are building to compete for another Championship. They also want to finish higher than sixth place, so the mass signing of stars is not shocking.

Meanwhile, the NWSL Draft will take place this Friday. This will allow Gotham FC to find depth players or a possible star. Last year, the club drafted Jenna Nighswonger, who became a star after moving from a forward to a defender. She became the starting left-back; the rest is history, for she won the Rookie of the Year.

Gotham does not have the fourth overall pick this year, but they can still find players who can make a difference within the team. Unlike the MLS SuperDraft, the NWSL Draft has value in building a roster. Most stars and USWNT players were initially drafted.

Gotham FC should focus on the defensive end in the draft

This time around, Gotham FC will pick 14th overall. More importantly, that is their only pick, for trades in 2022 and this past December saw their second to fourth round picks traded away. Of course, trades could occur in the draft, and things could change. At this time, the Bats have their one pick. Therefore, they should use the pick wisely. But what position should they draft?

One position the Bats could consider drafting is a goalkeeper. The roster is down to two after the Mandy Haught trade. Hence, a third is needed. As seen this season, Abby Smith's injury led to Haught stepping up during the end of the season and the playoffs. No soccer team can take the risk of only having two keepers. Plus, the new professional can learn under Michelle Betos and Abby Smith. Notably, Betos is considered a free agent, but she is still listed under the roster.

However, since the Bats only have one pick, they might be best suited to draft a defender. The club lacks some depth in the defense, so they could draft a left-back, center-back, or right-back. In 2023, sometimes the team saw midfielders step into the backline, which is not the worst thing since versatility is always a positive. Before the new season begins, Gotham should bring in a few more defenders.

It must be said if there is a very talented player who somehow drops to 14th, then that player should be selected. It should not matter the position. And remember, not every rookie needs to turn into a star. Sometimes slow and steady development can turn someone into a top player in the league.

In the end, it is unknown who NJ/NY Gotham FC will draft. Anything can happen in the NWSL Draft. Perhaps the Bats will trade up in the first round or grab another pick during the evening.