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Gotham FC welcomes World Cup champion from Spain

(Photo by Daniela Porcelli/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

World Cup champion and Spanish national teamer Esther González made her NWSL debut on Saturday with Gotham FC, just a few days after she joined the team from the World Cup final.

Gotham played to a 3-3 draw with the North Carolina Courage in her debut, where she was subbed on in the 65th minute. She made an immediate impact, with Gotham scoring two of its goals after she came on. She even had a chance of her own that hit the post but didn’t go in.

“She’s a winner,” head coach Juan Carlos Amoros said. “I think she showed already what she can bring. She isn’t just a finisher in the box — she took her chances really well — but she holds up play, she reads the game, she understands the pressure. She’s a winner, she’s confident.”

At times when the game was particularly hectic, Amoros says that González was instrumental in holding up play and remaining composed. Already, he says, she trusts her teammates — one of the big reasons why she was subbed on.

And when North Carolina scored to go up 3-1, Amoros says “she really helped the team going forward.”

“[We’re] very happy now to have her on the team to help her teammates. She’s been fantastic around the changing room,” he continued. He also noted that when González was on the pitch alongside Midge Purce and Lynn Williams “it was frightening” but also “exciting to watch.”

While González didn’t play much the last two weeks following the World Cup, she still came in ready to go.

“She’s the ultimate level of professionalism,” Amoros said, noting that González has been “really good at training.” “I had zero doubt that she was going to come in the best shape possible. She takes care of every detail as you need to do, and I knew she was going to come in good shape.

“I’m very excited for what she can bring to the team in the near future, in the next few games, but also for the future of who Gotham wants to be. This is the caliber of player that we want to bring from abroad.”