NJ/NY Gotham FC have parted ways with coach Scott Parkinson, the club announced Thursday. The news was announced as a mutual parting of ways effective immediately, with an interim head coach announcement coming shortly.
Parkinson’s dismissal comes nearly a year after his initial hire by the National Women’s Soccer League franchise. The team underperformed under Parkinson throughout 2022, including an early exit from the Challenge Cup and struggles in the ongoing regular season. Gotham are currently in 11th place on the league table out of 12 teams in the NWSL.
“I want to that Scott for his contributions to our organization and for the dedication he’s shown over the past year. I wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors,” Gotham FC general manager Yael Averbuch West said in a statement.
How did Gotham get here?
Parkinson joined the club a year ago, on Aug. 31, after Angel City FC announced that former Gotham coach Freya Coombe was hired to lead the team as their new coach.
Parkinson led the team during their final eight games of the 2021 season, maintaining an undefeated streak throughout, and earned a place back in the NWSL playoffs for the first time since 2013, the franchise’s only playoff appearance since their rebrand to NJ/NY Gotham FC. They were eliminated by Chicago Red Stars, a team Parkinson coached as an assistant, in the first playoff round — a 1-0, quarterfinal loss.
Based on their momentum to close out the season, the presence of dynamic attacking players in Midge Purce and Ifeoma Onumonu, and the offseason additions of Kristie Mewis, Ali Kreiger and Ashlyn Harris, many expected the club to build on their previous playoff run. However, the team failed to produce good performances on the pitch, develop chemistry on the field and are 4-0-8 with half the season behind them.
The team has announced that an interim coach will be named soon, though assistants Beverly Yanez and Becky Tweed have been running trainings for the team in the meantime. The club statement also referred to the search of the next coach as “a methodical process of identifying and interviewing a talented a diverse pool of candidates to serve as head coach for the 2023 season.”
Parkinson also issued a farewell to the club on his personal Twitter account, saying “Thank you to Gotham FC and Yael (Averbuch West) for giving me the opportunity to coach your team. It’s been an honor. … This has been a tough year on and off the field, but I’m excited for what’s next.”
The club is preparing to face OL Reign this Sunday on the road at Lumen Field in Seattle. Gotham FC are in 11th place with 12 points and 10 games remaining for them in their season. They are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but their road to the playoffs is going to require a massive shift in momentum that can now only be spearheaded by the players on the pitch.