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Gotham FC part ways with coach Scott Parkinson

(Ira L. Black/Getty Images)

NJ/NY Gotham FC and head coach Scott Parkinson are going their separate ways, the club announced Thursday. The move is effective immediately.

Parkinson joined the club last August, when he took over for Freya Coombe, who had been hired as coach of expansion franchise Angel City FC. Gotham FC will name an interim head coach and begin a search for the next head coach shortly.

“I want to thank Scott for his contributions to our organization and for the dedication he’s shown over the past year,” general manager Yael Averbuch West said in a statement. “I wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors.”

Parkinson came to Gotham FC from Chicago, where he had been the lead assistant coach for the Red Stars since February 2020. He spent the previous two years as an assistant for Utah Royals FC.

After Parkinson took the helm for Gotham FC two-thirds of the way through the 2021 season, the club finished fifth out of 10 teams and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

In contrast, the 2022 season has been a rough one for Gotham. The club started posted a 1-3-2 record in the preseason Challenge Cup tournament, then started the regular season 1-0-2.

Following the team’s poor start in May, Parkinson said the team had to “take a look at themselves.” But Gotham has won just three matches since then, falling to a 4-0-8 record and 11th place in the league standings.

“On behalf of ownership, I want to personally thank Scott for the energy, work ethic, and commitment he brought to our club every day,” managing owner Ed Nalbandian said in a statement. “He is a true professional, and we wish him the best in the next chapter of his soccer career.”

Expectations heading into the season were high for Gotham FC after the signings of Kristie Mewis, Ashlyn Krieger and Ashlyn Harris in the offseason. Those moves spurred a “win-now” mentality amongst players and fans, but the club has fallen short.

Parkinson thanked Gotham for the opportunity to coach in a statement posted on Twitter, calling it “an honor.”

“To our players, I’ll never forget my time with you all,” he wrote. “I’m going to miss you all so much.

“This has been a tough year on and off the field, but I’m excited for what’s next. This year has prepared me for an incredible future ahead.”