By Angu Lesley
Cameroonian central defender, Estelle Laura Johnson, 33, of Gotham FC has agreed a one season contract extension that will keep her at New Jersey-based National Women’s Soccer League club till the end of the upcoming season.
The former Washington Spirit and current indomitable Lionesses defender was a mainstay at the back for the club last season but became a free agent at the end of the season.
The club and player’s entourage announced extension of their working relationship on Monday.
“Estelle is such a reliable presence on the back line and we are thrilled to welcome her back for 2022,” Gotham FC assistant general manager Stephanie Lee opined. She further revealed that Johnson was a telling factor in their admirable defensive performance last season; “As a club, we conceded the second fewest goals in the league this season and Estelle played a big role in that defensive effort. Her experience and leadership are important as we continue to add pieces to this team.”
Johnson has made over 40 appearances for the club and country in the last two seasons with some impressive statistics last term.
According to frontrowsoccer.com, Johnson who recorded one assist in 2021 made up to 29 blocks. Johnson won 70% of her aerial duels and maintained a 87.4 percent passing accuracy while averaging 45 passes per match.
These figures are certainly of an elite defender and justifies the offer of a new deal.
One of the components of NWSL September 2021 team of the month Johnson justified the adage that says the older the better.
The defender remains motivated and excited about the latest development.
“We have some unfinished [business] to attend to. “I’m honored to continue representing Gotham FC and a city that is founded on pride and grit. I’m looking forward to connecting with returning and new players to win an NWSL title.”
Born in Maroua-Cameroon, but groomed in the US, Johnson shuttled between club and country responsibilities last year and played all games in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers plus the 2022 African Women’s cup of Nations qualifiers which she only missed one game.
Johnson is expected to follow-up an impressive 2019 FIFA World Cup tournament with a participation in a second international tournament next year in Morocco if Cameroon qualifiers for the tournament.
She has earned the admiration of the very demanding Cameroonian public with her wonderful defensive displays and will be an attraction in Morocco, if Cameroon can eliminate the Gambia.
Johnson made her debut in the NWSL in the colours of Philadelphia Independence in the 2010 campaign and has made 143 appearances in the competition.
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