(Photo by Lee Klafczynski/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Michelle Betos has signed a two-year deal with NJ/NY Gotham FC, bringing the Queens native back to her hometown. Betos was previously waived by Racing Louisville in December.

“I can’t believe we managed to get Michelle here with us in Gotham FC,” said Head Coach Scott Parkinson. “She’s a competitor, has the highest standards professionally and will help us all understand what it means to play for and represent this community.”

Betos spent just one season in Louisville, starting in 20 matches and recording a league-second 96 saves. She revealed after her release that her plan was to retire in Louisville, saying that the city “felt like home.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining this club,” said Betos. “I have always dreamed of playing at home and Gotham FC just inherited 40+ crazy Italian fans at Red Bull Arena every weekend.”

Prior to her time with Racing, Betos spent seven seasons bouncing around the NWSL. She played in the inaugural NWSL season with then-Seattle Reign before making her way to Portland. There, she earned the 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year award and help the Thorns to the 2016 NWSL Shield. In 2015, she also became the first goalkeeper to score in NWSL history when she notched an equalizer in the 95th minute against then-FC Kansas City.

Betos then spent time overseas before returning to the Reign in 2018.

“I have such an incredible amount of respect for everyone in the organization from the top down, and I know their locker room is truly a special one,” added Betos. “The potential of this team is so exciting, and I believe we will achieve great things this season and beyond.”

Gotham has been active this offseason, trading away goalkeepers Kailen Sheridan to San Diego and Didi Haračić to Angel City while acquiring the NWSL’s all-time saves leader Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger in a deal with the Orlando Pride. In a deal with San Diego, the club also acquired Kristie Mewis. More recently, they locked down reigning Defender of the Year Caprice Dydasco to a two-year contract.

NWSL preseason begins February 1. The 2022 season begins March 19 with group play for the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup.