Yael Averbuch West revealed what it means to lead NWSL team NJ/NY Gotham FC as General Manager, saying that it's 'nothing's typical'.
The former USWNT and NWSL star first joined the team’s leadership in July 2021 on an interim basis, replacing Alyse LaHue. Five months later, Gotham FC announced Averbuch West as the permanent solution to the vacancy. Averbuch West has since managed Gotham to record-breaking signings and partnership deals.
During the latest episode of 90min’s Football Americana, the General Manager explained the ‘behind the scenes’ of running an NWSL side to success.
“So it's funny, people ask me this all the time, like what's a day in the life as a GM, and the funny thing, there is no schedule to the day. There's one thing I can say is, oh, here's what I typically do, because nothing's typical. I think you've seen this, calls come in all times of day and night. I'm feeding breakfast to the kids and rescheduling a game literally,” she laughed.
“I was at the doctor's office, on the toilet making a trade at one point. That's probably not usually public information, but I'm doing work at all times of day, all different kinds of stuff surrounding the team, not just the roster, but just in general, really every aspect of the organization. So, when they say General Manager, I think the general part, emphasis on the general part.”
She first kicked off her career in 2002, featuring for the New Jersey Lady Stallions in the W-league before the NWSL was established. She went on to appear for Sweden’s Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, the Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC, FC Kansas City and the Seattle Reign.
Internationally, she recorded one goal in 26 appearances for the US women’s national team.
Averbuch West confirmed that her experience as a player has impacted her job as General Manager, especially when it comes to specific trades.
“But for me really, a huge part of how I view these deals, that's really hard for me to see players in a transactional way. I don't know if I'll ever be able to, maybe one day, if I do this for a while, but for me, these are people. And the first thing I wanted to know is, do they want to come to my team, and why do they want to come to my team?" Averbuch West added.
“So for me, this deal was about the logistics of their life and their ambition in their career right now, and understanding and making sure that's aligned. And then we talk the numbers and make sure it makes sense.
“But that's honestly 10% of the conversation. 90% is the rest. How do they fit into our team culture? Making sure we're elevating things here and maintaining what's special about it.”
Gotham FC kicks off the Challenge Cup on Saturday against the North Carolina Courage.