Snacks is back, with Lynn Williams opening up about her trade to NJ/NY Gotham FC in the first episode of the new season of the podcast from Just Women’s Sports.
Speaking with her fellow co-host Sam Mewis, Williams described how she learned of the potential trade. The 29-year-old forward was in New Zealand with the U.S. women’s nation national team, in her first camp and her first time playing soccer in almost a year.
“It was an emotional time,” she said. “It was the day of the draft, and I was so oblivious that it was that day. I feel like normally when it’s draft day you’re like, don’t look at your phone. If you get news, especially when you’re in camp, you’ll get it later on in the day so you can focus.”
But Williams was on the treatment table when her agent messaged her about “time-sensitive information.” She thought she was getting a new deal with the Kansas City Current. Instead, her agent informed her that the Current were pushing for a trade.
“My heart sunk, my face dropped. My initial reaction was, ‘No, I’m not going,’” Williams said, noting that she had “veto power” over the trade. Gotham, she said, didn’t want her if she didn’t want to be there.
Still, she was worried about what would happen in Kansas City if she said no: Would it be awkward? Would she play? She talked with USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski, and she also spoke with Gotham FC head coach Juan Carlos Amorós, who made it clear just how much the team wanted her.
“Basically the decision I had come down to was: I don’t want to be at a place that doesn’t want me. And if Gotham really wants me, then I wanna go there,” Williams said.
With three minutes to spare before the deadline for the trade, she agreed to the deal. The trade was announced announced minutes later, giving her just enough time to call her mom and let her know before her new teammate Kelley O’Hara was blowing up her phone in excitement.
“She was like, ‘Let’s go!’ And I was just distraught,” Williams said. “It was pretty devastating at the time. Not necessarily because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t wanna go to Gotham.’ It was more like, my life was, in a moment, flipped on its head.”
Throughout the entire trade process, Williams felt unsettled, she said on Snacks. She would have to move, again, during a World Cup year, as she was still trying to rehab the hamstring injury that kept her out through almost all of 2022. That, she said, was the most stressful part.
“I feel like every trade is unique in its own way. It’s hard,” she said. “You would like to think that teams would know a little bit more in advance that they’re going to trade you or not. And maybe they do.”
Of course, Williams hasn’t wasted time in getting acclimated on the field. She scored in Gotham’s season opener, which also marked her debut for the club, and is off to a good start to the year with the USWNT.
Both Williams’ and Mewis’ journeys will be documented through Snacks, as well as more in-depth insight into what’s going on around the league in this new season. Mewis remains under contract with the Current, but she is not expected to play in 2023 as she continues to work her way back from a knee injury.
Of course, there will be special guests – including O’Hara in this week’s premiere episode – and more discussion about not just the U.S. league but about women’s soccer as a whole.
“I can’t wait for this new season. This league is constantly moving and shifting, and giving fans an inside look at it all that they can’t get anywhere else is our secret sauce,” Mewis said. “Even with everything we’ve accomplished on the field, Snacks is one of our greatest joys because it provides us with such a unique opportunity for us to share our experiences around the game we love and provide a platform for others to talk about women’s soccer in a way that hasn’t been done before.”
And in a new partnership with iHeartPodcasts, Snacks has an opportunity to reach more people than ever for and drive larger conversations that transcend sports.
“We’re excited to bring ‘Snacks’ back for another season as it’s one of the most important platforms in women’s sports right now,” said Haley Rosen, the founder and CEO of Just Women’s Sports. “Women’s soccer has been on such an incredible growth trajectory over the past decade, and on this show, two of the game’s most decorated and accomplished players are not only providing their authentic perspective every week as professionals but also as burgeoning media personalities adding to the almost non existent conversations happening about women’s soccer games week to week.”