NJ/NY Gotham FC today announced yet another free agency signing, adding forward Ella Stevens on a multiyear contract through 2025, with an option for 2026. The restricted free agent, who has played for the Chicago Red Stars since being drafted as the 24th overall pick in the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Draft, will now head to the defending NWSL Champions.
“I just felt like Gotham was the best place for me to learn and grow,” Stevens exclusively told The Equalizer. “From my first talks with the staff and Yael [Averbuch West]they showed a genuine interest in me, they had film and individual analysis at our meetings, and that went a long way.”
With the Red Stars, Stevens appeared in 22 matches in the 2023 regular season, recording 16 starts, 1,307 minutes, four goals, and one assist. In 2022, Stevens notched four goals and two assists over 19 appearances. In 2024, she is hoping to add to this tally, whether starting or coming off the bench.
2023 was a difficult season for the Red Stars. The team finished in last place in a 12-team table, and the squad has since entered a significant rebuilding phase. Even so, deciding to leave the only NWSL team she has ever known was not an easy choice for the 26-year-old, but she knew it was time for her to try something new in her career.
“Leaving the Red Stars was really hard because I made a home in Chicago,” she said. “It was hard to think about leaving all the relationships I’ve built here and the community, but you can grow a lot when you put yourself in a new environment and are challenged in different ways.”
For Stevens, Gotham is a club that will not only challenge her as a player, but support her in her endeavors, which was a key component of the criteria she looked for when selecting a new club.
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