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Midge Purce: ‘I want to be a top player’ for USWNT and Gotham FC

USWNT and Gotham FC forward Midge Purce has set a clear goal for herself in 2023. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Midge Purce has set a clear goal for herself in 2023.

“I want to score goals,” she told reporters Monday.

The U.S. women’s national team and Gotham FC forward knows she had a down year in 2022 for club and for country. But she wants to rebound in 2023.

“Last year is not something that was enjoyable for me,” Purce said. “Not scoring goals, it makes me sick. And this year I want to score goals on both the national team and for club. I want to be a top player in both settings. So that’s all I’m after.”

The 27-year-old joined Gotham FC via trade in 2020. In 2021, she led the team in scoring with nine goals and finished second in the NWSL Golden Boot race. But last season, she finished with three goals and three assists.

Purce also struggled to stick with the USWNT in 2022. She appeared in 11 matches, contributing two goals and one assist, but was left off the roster for the final four games of the year due to what USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski called a “dip in form.”

Ahead of the 2023 NWSL season, Purce has signed a two-year contract to stay with Gotham FC through at least 2024, the team announced Monday. For the USWNT, she received call-ups for January’s New Zealand friendlies and for February’s SheBelieves Cup.

Even amid a busy start to the year, she has had a strong preseason with Gotham FC, she said Monday. With new coach Juan Carlos Amorós leading the charge and with USWNT teammate Lynn Williams joining her on the forward line, she feels comfortable and confident in the team as the season approaches.

Purce did have a bone to pick, though not with Gotham FC. NWSL is making its debut in the FIFA 23 video game later this month, and she thinks she deserves a higher player rating.

“It’s really exciting for EA to be a part of the NWSL world,” Purce said. “I think it’s long overdue. I think we’ve been here, and I think we should have been in the game. I was tired of playing with other players when I rate myself higher.

“That being said, I think my ratings are very low for what they gave me and I wasn’t happy about all of them. But I actually like my character. I think it looks really similar to me.”

Gotham FC will kick off its 2023 season with a road match against Angel City FC at 9 p.m. ET Sunday, March 26.