LISBON / HARRISON, NJ (May 24, 2023) – SL Benfica, one of the world’s most historic and best-known football clubs, and Gotham FC, the top-ranked club in the National Women’s Soccer League, are excited to announce a transformative partnership aimed at advancing women's soccer development and expanding their global reach.
As Gotham FC affiliates with one of the top clubs in Europe known for player development, Gotham FC will have access to the knowledge and world-renowned methodologies of SL Benfica, which boasts one of the best youth academies in the world. Through collaboration and shared expertise, Gotham FC can enhance its player development systems and further strengthen the club’s competitive edge in the NWSL.
SL Benfica, as part of its USA Expansion Plan, continues to embark on strategic initiatives, and this partnership with Gotham FC represents a significant milestone. With a focus on strategic positioning in the vibrant Portuguese/Benfica community of New Jersey and New York, Benfica aims to deepen its roots in the region and tap into the rich reservoir of talent and passion for football.
In addition to creating future player transaction opportunities, the partnership also opens potential avenues for growth, collaboration, and business opportunities off the pitch.
“Gotham FC is one of the nation's longest-running women's professional soccer clubs, and we are excited to showcase our experience, our talent, and our youth. As women’s football is rapidly growing in the United States, Gotham FC is proud to help encourage the rise in youth participation and fan engagement.” said Josh Murphy, Gotham FC Senior Advisor on Soccer Operations and Soccer Partnerships.
“Alongside SL Benfica, this partnership provides an opportunity to bring a familiar connection from Portugal to the Portuguese community in our own backyard of New York and New Jersey, while positioning Gotham FC as a global brand. Together, our collective commitment will help grow the game and expand our reach in the U.S. and internationally.”
Through this partnership, SL Benfica is poised to gain invaluable knowledge and insights from the North American women's soccer landscape. By closely studying the advancements and best practices in women's football in the region, Benfica seeks to enhance its own player development programs and strengthen its position as a leader in talent development on a global scale.
One of the key elements of the collaboration is the establishment of a preference agreement, enabling Benfica to identify and recruit talented players from Gotham FC to play in Europe. This mutually beneficial arrangement offers exceptional opportunities for young players to gain exposure, develop their skills, and potentially thrive in the European football market, through this new pathway created.
Additionally, the partnership presents an array of communication opportunities that will allow both clubs to leverage the strength of each other’s brand. SL Benfica aims to gain international leverage in the rapidly growing women's football market, while Gotham FC can tap into Benfica's prestige and reputation as a powerhouse in European football.
“Benfica can benefit a lot from this partnership because women's soccer in the U.S. is very advanced, with millions of federated players. With the investment that Benfica has made we believe that we will reach higher levels in women's soccer and this partnership and relationship with the USA will contribute to that”, said Bernardo Faria de Carvalho, Global Expansion Director at Benfica.