Why Juan Carlos Amorós is the head coach he is today

  • Juan Carlos Amorós is in his second year as Gotham FC's head coach
  • There is a reason the Spaniard is the head coach he is today
Juan Carlos Amorós of Gotham FC
Juan Carlos Amorós of Gotham FC / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

Juan Carlos Amorós took over NJ/NY Gotham FC a season after the team finished last in the NWSL. What was expected to be a rebuilding stage, the Spaniard led the squad to their first-ever NWSL title as the sixth seed in the playoffs. His experience coaching women at the highest level led him to be one of the top head coaches in the world, as his story continues in the sport.  

Way before moving to the United States, Amorós started his managerial career in Europe, with his first gig with the Tottenham Hotspur women's side. Though it took a few years, he managed to bring the side promotion to the WSL for the first time in 2019. He also won the FA Women's Premier League in 2017, which is the third tier of English female football.  

After spending almost nine years in England, Amorós returned to his home country of Spain to coach Real Betis Féminas for a season. However, he only managed to lead them to a ninth-place finish and decided to mutually leave the club following the 2021/22 campaign.   

Despite not gaining much success in Europe, an opportunity opened for him to coach in the States that would change his coaching career around. Following the suspension of former Houston Dash coach James Clarkson for alleged “emotional misconduct", Amorós took over as interim coach for the remainder of the season.   

How Juan Carlos Amorós made his way to Gotham FC

Houston had a 5-6-3 record in all competitions when the head coach took over, with broken chemistry overall. Though not given much time, he did his best to turn the club around to finish the season with a 10-6-6 record and a fourth-place finish in the table. He also led them to the club’s first-ever NWSL playoffs, though losing to the Current 2-1 after a last-minute goal by Kate del Fava.  

This caught the attention of Gotham FC, who were looking for a whole new team and coaching staff following their 4-17-1 season. They hired Amorós shortly after the season to a three-year contract. At the time, Gotham and Head of Soccer Operations Yael Averbuch West said the following:  

“Juan Carlos is an experienced and ambitious coach who is highly respected by players for his tactical knowledge and leadership. He shares a strong belief in our vision for Gotham FC, and we are very excited to bring him to NJ/NY.”  

This decision turned out to be one of the best in its history, with the head coach revamping the team as they drafted Jenna Nighswonger while also bringing on Yazmeen Ryan and Lynn Williams in the offseason, with the addition of World Cup winner Esther González midseason.   

It did not seem that Gotham FC would make it far in the playoffs, having just been the sixth seed. However, after back-to-back away wins against the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC, the Bats saw gold with a 2-1 win against Seattle Reign FC. 

The biggest change Gotham had from its previous seasons was changing to a high-pressing style of play. With Amorós' time coaching in England and Spain, he adapted high press football, while also incorporating possession-based play, which was deemed dominant last season.  

Despite opening the campaign with a 1-0 loss to the San Diego Wave during the NWSL Challenge Cup, Gotham FC still looks stronger than ever with multiple new players on the team, including a few World Cup winners, as they look to defend their title this year.