Esther González always dreamt of playing in the United States. Now, she’s not only made that dream come true, but she’s also a NWSL champion.
González signed with Gotham FC after winning the 2023 World Cup with Spain. And since then, the 30-year-old forward has helped the team to its first NWSL championship, scoring the title-winning goal on a header in Saturday’s final.
She predicted the goal to Spanish outlet AS ahead of the championship game.
“Yes always,” she said in Spanish when asked if she saw herself scoring in the final. “In my head, I only want to score goals, whatever the match, in training. Of course I see myself scoring in the final. I know I’m going to have a chance, I just have to make it.”
González has settled in well to the NWSL, becoming just the second player since 2015 to score a brace in one of her first two league appearances.
She also knows that she is in a league “where I can bring out my maximum potential,” and following the game she told Marta Griñan of AS that the level of competition in the NWSL is much higher than in La Liga.
“One of the biggest differences with the Spanish league, which is a great league, is that here (in the NWSL) all the games, absolutely all of them, are like a Champions League game at the highest level,” she said. “In Spain, there are some games that you can win four or five to zero, that your physical wear and tear is normal, that you have everything under control.
“Here every game is like playing against Barça, which is the best team in the Spanish League: Your level has to be the maximum, your physical demand is the maximum, and that happens weekend after weekend.”