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Gotham FC Selects Defender Maycee Bell with First Round Pick in 2024 NWSL Draft, presented by Ally

By Gotham FC Communications, 01/13/24, 12:30AM EST


ANAHEIM, CA (January 12, 2024) – With the 14th overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, presented by Ally, NJ/NY Gotham FC selected defender Maycee Bell from the University of North Carolina.  

“We couldn’t be more excited to add a talented player like Maycee to our back line,” said Gotham FC General Manager and Head of Soccer Operations Yael Averbuch West. “She has all the tools to succeed at the next level and we look forward to supporting her to be her very best.”  

Bell has been regarded as one of the top collegiate defensive players since starting every match of her freshman season in 2019. Over the course of her Tarheel career, she earned four ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors and was named the ACC’s Freshman of the Year. She also appeared in two NCAA College Cup Finals in the four seasons she played.  

“We had talked about all the possibilities for center backs specifically and if Maycee could possibly still be available by 14,” said Averbuch West. “So when she was, we were very assured in our decision and excited to bring her to Gotham!” 

After returning from a season-ending injury, she was named the team’s co-captain and led North Carolina’s back line to allowing only 7.4 shots per game and held 20 of its 23 opponents to 10 shots or fewer in her redshirt senior season. Bell also started all 20 of her appearances in 2023, recording 1,696 minutes, scoring two goals, and notching two assists. 

As Bell prepares to join the reigning league champions, she looks to reunite with 2023 NWSL Rookie of the Year Jenna Nighswonger, who she trained with at U.S. U-20 National Team camp in December 2018. 

The central defender is a Wichita, Kansas native, who was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year in her home state as a star high school athlete.