One month after making her NWSL return, Mana Shim is back scoring goals.
The 31-year-old midfielder scored her first NWSL goal since 2015 on Wednesday. She provided the lone strike for Gotham FC in their 1-1 draw with the Orlando Pride, scoring in the 91st minute off an assist from Midge Purce.
Shim helped spur investigations into coaching abuse across the NWSL as one of two players who detailed allegations of abuse against former Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley in a report published by The Athletic in 2021. She joined Gotham FC for the 2023 season after a five-year hiatus from the league.
Not done yet! ⏳@GothamFC pulls one back through @meleanashim! pic.twitter.com/WfghiGXmD0— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) August 10, 2023
Not done yet! ⏳@GothamFC pulls one back through @meleanashim! pic.twitter.com/WfghiGXmD0
With the draw, Gotham FC fell just short of a place in the Challenge Cup semifinals, but Shim still could appreciate her accomplishment.
“I mean this is bittersweet, and I couldn’t even celebrate because I was like, ‘We have to win this game,’” she said afterward. “And now that I have some time to reflect on it, obviously, it’s amazing. And I’m just so grateful that they trusted me to even be in the position to be on the field at that time.”
She called Gotham “the best group I’ve ever worked with” in her television interview postgame. She plays with her former Thorns teammate and fellow whistleblower Sinead Farrelly on the New Jersey-based club.
“I’m just enjoying it so much,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be with the group and I just feel honored to be a part of it.”
While she has played in just four matches since signing with the club in June, she has made her minutes count.
“We knew that Mana could help us,” Gotham head coach Juan Carlos Amorós said postgame. “And again, maybe a new position for her arriving late from left back, [but] very happy for her to get that goal.”